This is coolbert:
was noted in the previous blog entry, the liquid-metal cooled fast
reactor having advantages with regard to submarine operations:
"Greater power in a SMALLER package and able to reach higher power quicker! Also more quiet. Need anything else?"
And this was must have been exactly the thought when the second American nuclear submarine [Seawolf] was equipped with LMFR.
ADVANTAGES OF THE LMFR VERY QUICKLY FOUND TO BE OUTWEIGHED BY A SERIES
OF DISADVANTAGES. ALMOST INSTANTLY AFTER COMMISSIONING THE DECISION MADE
TO REFURBISH THE SEAWOLF AND REPLACE THE LMFR WITH A WATER-COOLED
CONVENTIONAL NUCLEAR REACTOR.
"Seawolf was the same
basic 'double hull' twin-screw submarine design
as her predecessor (USS NAUTILUS/SSN-571), but her propulsion system was
much more technologically advanced . . . Her liquid-sodium cooled
epithermal reactor was more efficient than a 'light water'-cooled
thermal system, quieter, and presumably better
system, but posed, presumably and arguably, several safety hazards for
the ship and crew."
to the crew in terms of increased exposure to radiation! As has been
noted by Admiral Oliver an American submariner only receiving per patrol
one-hundred times LESS nuclear radiation than his Soviet counterpart!!
"in February 1957,
Rickover had already decided to abandon the sodium-cooled reactor. Early
in November 1956, he informed the Commission [Atomic Energy] that he
would take steps toward replacing the reactor in the Seawolf with a
water-cooled plant similar to that in the Nautilus. The leaks in the
Seawolf steam plant were an important factor in the decision but even
more persuasive were the inherent limitations in sodium-cooled systems."
"expensive to build, complex to operate, susceptible to prolong
shutdown as a result of even minor malfunctions, and difficult and
time-consuming to repair." - - Rickover.
And if Admiral Rickover said it was so it must be so.
Technology has advanced in the last sixty years subsequent and now the LMFR is now do-able?
That is the question?