ABS to study nuclear for commercial maritime applications

August 19, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
The NS Savannah—the first merchant ship powered by a nuclear reactor.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has announced the launch of a research project that will look into barriers to the adoption of advanced nuclear propulsion for commercial vessels.

The $794,000 project, awarded to ABS last year by the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, is now being formally contracted through the DOE’s U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development funding opportunity, according to ABS’s August 17 announcement. Support is to be provided by Idaho National Laboratory’s National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC).

EnergySolutions and RSCS team up to decommission NS Savannah

March 31, 2022, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
NS Savannah at Pier 13 in Baltimore, Md., in 2012.

Utah-based EnergySolutions is joining Radiation Safety and Control Services (RSCS) in the decommissioning of NS Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered merchant ship, currently berthed at the Port of Baltimore in Maryland. EnergySolutions announced on March 29 that a joint venture of the two companies, Nuclear Ship Support Services, is conducting the final phases of decommissioning the ship’s reactor, which was defueled in 1975 but remains in place.

The history and future of civilian nuclear power afloat

December 10, 2021, 2:35PMNuclear NewsGail H. Marcus and Steven M. Mirsky

In the early days of the development of nuclear power, a broad range of nuclear technologies and applications were explored. Among these developments were the use of nuclear propulsion for ships, both military and civilian, as well as a floating nuclear power plant. While the use of nuclear power for naval vessels, including submarines and surface ships, continued, most of the civilian uses of nuclear power on the water were ultimately terminated.

Recently, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in both floating nuclear power plants and the use of nuclear propulsion in the civilian sector. The renewed interest makes this a particularly timely moment to recount the initial developments in this area. Some of the early civilian nuclear vessels were discussed in two sessions during the June 2021 ANS Annual Meeting, “NS Savannah History” and “History of Non-­Naval Nuclear Ship Power.” This article draws on the presentations from those sessions, the second of which was cochaired by the authors, as well as on other studies of the history of nuclear power.

Past, Present, and Promise 3: Return to the NS Savannah

December 5, 2013, 7:00AMANS Nuclear CafeWill Davis

Previous articles in this series were published on November 8 and November 14; this is the third and final installment of the series, which concludes just prior to the 60th anniversary of President Eisenhower's famous "Atoms for Peace" speech.  That speech, whose official title was "Atomic Power for Peace," was delivered to the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 8, 1953 and its ramifications for the future of civil nuclear energy the world over were immense.

Past, Present and Promise 2: The N.S. Savannah… Then

November 14, 2013, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

savannah 240x160

NS Savannah

An odd sidelight of my years in the Navy as a Reactor Operator was the time that we were called upon to perform work on the preserved ships at Patriot's Point Naval Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.  This interlude allowed me to become intimately familiar with a ship that was totally out of place at that anchorage of the aged: the nuclear powered commercial ship N.S. Savannah.

Nuclear power at sea

December 7, 2010, 7:00AMANS Nuclear CafeRod Adams

On Sunday, December 5, 2010, the Financial Times reported on a story (subscription required) that has been available in nuclear-energy focused corners of the Web for about three weeks: A consortium worthy of serious attention has begun a study of the viability of nuclear propulsion for oil tankers. The three-member consortium includes Lloyd's RegisterBMT Nigel Gee, and Hyperion Power Generation. Enterprises Shipping and Trading, a Greek company that manages a large fleet of modern, double hull tankers, is funding the study.