Nuclear submarines? Nuclear aircraft carriers? Are these really nuclear-powered?

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Nuclear submarines? Nuclear aircraft carriers? Are these really nuclear-powered?

Postby rerevisionist » 23 Jun 2011 15:44



Note added 11 Sep 2012: A reader found this site by searching with the keyphrase 'If they can have nuclear aircraft carriers, why not nuclear factories?' Good question—a factory is comparable in size with an aircraft carrier; its lighting, heating, conveyors, robots, machinery could be powered by nuclear power if nuclear power were genuine. So why doesn't this happen? This site suggests it doesn't happen because large scale fission doesn't work and never did.
- Mod


This is cactusneedles of Canada:--
The so-called nuclear subs are either fully battery operated and recharged underwater secretly or run with Stirling Cycle engines or more likely both. That would explain the absence of deisel fumes and would explain the very long underwater periods. Stirling cycle engines are perfectly suited to hoax a nuclear navy. Who can deny that?

I'm led to this by following a link on the 'Pugwash' website, related to the very recent deaths of Russian nuclear power bosses on their way to a conference, supposedly about nuclear power.

The 'Pugwash' group must clearly be phoney. Now, they mention the loss a 'nuclear submarine', the Kursk. Here's a photo allegedly of it, post-explosion:-
Image
Pugwash say in their 2000 piece http://www.pugwash.org/reports/pim/pim14.htm in the Guardian (a 'Scott Trust' mouthpiece, which has a monopoly on BBC job advertising)
THIS week, before the horrified gaze of the world, the Kursk has become part of the swelling armada of dead Russian nuclear submarines, most of which are to be found in the ports of the Kola peninsula of north-west Russia.
If the tragedy focuses attention on Russia's ballooning nuclear waste problem, then some good may yet come of it. What has been lacking has been political will in Russian and abroad. The loss of the Kursk could change that. There is still time - just.
... Kola also boasts the greatest latent potential for catastrophic release of radioactivity on the planet. An audit of 1993, ordered by President Boris Yeltsin, opened the issue for scrutiny. Kola is home to huge numbers of operating and defunct reactors.
Between 1954 and 1996, the Soviet Union built 287 nuclear submarines, containing more than 500 reactors. Of these, a minimum of 183 - and perhaps as many as 245 - are now out of service, and at least 120 of those still have fuelled reactors. The Northern Fleet has 142 subs and three battlecruisers (300-plus reactors) in or out of service. Then there are 10 icebreakers and a container ship. In the tally are 16 dumped reactors, including six with unrecovered fuel from nuclear accidents, such as the one that overtook the icebreaker Lenin. To that must now be added the two fuelled reactors of the Kursk.
So Kola has an abundance of spent nuclear fuel from ships needing containment. Then there is the Kola power station. Two of its reactors are judged by the International Atomic Energy Authority to have a 25% likelihood of critical failure in the next 20 years.

It's impossible to know much of this is true, of course. Nearly 300 nuclear submarines from about fifty years old and younger, suddenly giving problems? There's a long Wikipedia article on the Kursk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_submarine_Kursk_explosion unsourced as always, but at least quoting marine architects as sources, in addition to the BBC and other controlled media, and several conspiracy theories, no doubt including the usual distractions and fakes. It's curious how little comment there is on the supposed nuclear propulsion. On the other hand, each torpedo is supposed to need 1.5 tonnes of H2O2 and .5 ton of kerosene. Wikipedia also lists sunken submarines, 4 US, 6 Soviet + Russian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sunken_nuclear_submarines
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby FirstClassSkeptic » 23 Jun 2011 17:09

Thinking on the subjects of those lectures at the Nuclear energy symposium, that you posted elsewhere, I had commented on the number of lecture having to do with hydrogen.

A problem that hydrogen causes at high pressures is that it is forced into the crystal lattice of steel, where it reacts with the carbon, makes methane, and weakens the steel.

If steel is exposed to hydrogen at high temperatures, hydrogen will diffuse into the alloy and combine with carbon to form tiny pockets of methane at internal surfaces like grain boundaries and voids. This methane does not diffuse out of the metal, and collects in the voids at high pressure and initiates cracks in the steel. This selective leaching process is known as hydrogen attack, or high temperature hydrogen attack and leads to decarburization of the steel and loss of strength and ductility.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_embrittlement

This phenomenon is a problem in the manufacture of ammonia, and it might have been there that it was first discovered, I don't know. The hydrogen and nitrogen are pumped into a cylinder to high pressure. "Low alloy" steels must be used. That's usually stainless steel.

What I was thinking is; the gas in a Stirling engine is pressurized, sometimes, to make the engine more efficient.

Pressurization

In most high power Stirling engines, both the minimum pressure and mean pressure of the working fluid are above atmospheric pressure. This initial engine pressurization can be realized by a pump, or by filling the engine from a compressed gas tank, or even just by sealing the engine when the mean temperature is lower than the mean operating temperature. All of these methods increase the mass of working fluid in the thermodynamic cycle. All of the heat exchangers must be sized appropriately to supply the necessary heat transfer rates. If the heat exchangers are well designed and can supply the heat flux needed for convective heat transfer, then the engine will in a first approximation produce power in proportion to the mean pressure, as predicted by the West number, and Beale number. In practice, the maximum pressure is also limited to the safe pressure of the pressure vessel. Like most aspects of Stirling engine design, optimization is multivariate, and often has conflicting requirements.[49]


And the best gas to use in a Stirling is hydrogen:

Hydrogen's low viscosity and high thermal conductivity make it the most powerful working gas, primarily because the engine can run faster than with other gases. However, due to hydrogen absorption, and given the high diffusion rate associated with this low molecular weight gas, particularly at high temperatures, H2 will leak through the solid metal of the heater. Diffusion through carbon steel is too high to be practical, but may be acceptably low for metals such as aluminum, or even stainless steel. Certain ceramics also greatly reduce diffusion. Hermetic pressure vessel seals are necessary to maintain pressure inside the engine without replacement of lost gas. For high temperature differential (HTD) engines, auxiliary systems may need to be added to maintain high pressure working fluid. These systems can be a gas storage bottle or a gas generator. Hydrogen can be generated by electrolysis of water, the action of steam on red hot carbon-based fuel, by gasification of hydrocarbon fuel, or by the reaction of acid on metal. Hydrogen can also cause the embrittlement of metals. Hydrogen is a flammable gas, which is a safety concern if released from the engine.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine
Note added Dec 2015: Adam Hart-Davis in 'The McCurdy Lecture, 23 Oct 2003, said '.. because of their quietness, the Victorians used them [Stirling engines] to drive their church organs and the Swedish Navy used them [purpose(s) unstated] in their submarines. ...'
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby rerevisionist » 23 Jun 2011 22:11

Thanks. Interesting, yes, and helps explain the point of that conference.

They used to say cast iron 'adsorbs' carbon monoxide, so closed stoves burning coke or coal would adsorb carbon monoxide. It could get right through such stoves and poison people - if you started going cherry red with carboxyhaemoglobin, you were in trouble. But now you mention it, I expect oxygen atoms or gas, rather than CO, is what migrates in tiny steps right through the metal, as CO builds up one one side of the heated metal.

And stainless steel will corrode, in a reducing atmosphere - presumably, hydrogen removes the oxide layer, and permits entry of hydrogen and water vapour.

Amazing that metallurgists seem only lately to have got around to this sort of stuff. I wonder what they don't know about objects in space....
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby rerevisionist » 24 Jun 2011 13:53

Don't forget that submarines existed years before 'nuclear power'! I think from memory they were powered by electricity; the batteries would have been recharged at the surface, where there would be air available to run diesel engines to turn the dynamos. In this way the need for oxygen underwater would be worked around. Of course, submarines at the surface were vulnerable - one of the British policies during WW2 was to switch from dropping depth-charges in areas suspected of having U-boats under water, to the rarer times where the U-boats were on the surface.

Part of the promo activity about nuclear subs was the range - they were supposed to be able to lurk underwater for something like a year, I think, from memory. This may have been part of the mythology around H Bombs - H Bombs had to be a universal danger - see our article on what would be needed by planners making up H bombs: --
http://www.big-lies.org/NUKE-LIES/www.nukelies.com/forum/H-bomb-myth-and-its-purpose.html

And now I come to think of it, what are we to make of rockets launched from under the sea? Submarines with almost permanent underwater lives would be a threat, but, if they could only launch torpedoes, arguably they're not very important, especially as sea transport could be replaced by air transport. Therefore, rockets would be part of the planning, or part of the fantasy. The engineering problems of forcing a missile through water, then through the water-air interface, would seem to be considerable; presumably this is why aircraft carriers and cruise missiles are preferred.
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby rerevisionist » 30 Jun 2011 02:17

UNDERWATER LAUNCH OF MISSILES; QUESTIONS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine-launched_ballistic_missile
Wikipedia article on SBLMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles). There are illustrations of rather squat missiles (their height/length must be determined by the sub's height, assuming the things aren't simply left exposed to the sea; and to carry fuel they must presumably be thick). The Soviet Union is supposed to have made the first successful test in 1960. I have a suspicion this whole subject is another fake. Shoving a missile through water sounds tricky in several respects - the exhaust wouldn't be able to clear the missile easily, as it can in air. There'd presumably be hot gases rather like oxy-acetylene equipment used underwater. The deadweight of the water sounds hard to deal with - torpedoes have a similar problem, but do not have to overcome their own weight. And there might be currents, and huge waves on the surface; the exit angle would therefore be uncertain, and therefore the direction such a thing travelled in. Is it really credible a missile could travel 1000 miles or so with any accuracy? Could the Soviet Union really have done such a thing in 1960?

I haven't looked, but I suspect a trawl through films and videos would show undersea-launched missiles might be another fake. Probably part of the H Bomb invention scheme, to make war 'unthinkable'.
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby FirstClassSkeptic » 30 Jun 2011 02:40

I wonder about the psychology of a crew of men being underwater for a year.

A Polaris missile is supposed to launch from under water. Compressed air is how they say it's done. It does seem doubtful to me that such a thing could be done. I wonder why they have never used one?

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http://roosevelt.larryshomeport.com/html/official.html
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby rerevisionist » 04 Sep 2011 19:16

I'm reconsidering submarines; it appears Jules Verne's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea', which postdated the US Civil War with its submarine (the Potomac?), has quite a realistic consideration of what such a thing would be like. This book is somewhat James Bond-villain-ish, with the hugely rich Capt Nemo in control of manufacturing his ship on a remote island, unnoticed by authorities. I do wonder whether the 1954 film might have been a promo device to make underwater ships look a lot easier and safer than they maybe were. Anyway, Verne's mythical 'Nautilus' had a lot of electrical stuff, including cooking, which at the time must have been serious science fiction.

Fast forward somewhat to U boats and subs ... they seem to have used diesel engines, no doubt because batteries just don't hold much charge - to this day hydrocarbon fuel in cars is needed, the electricity handling only ignition and lights.

If this is right, where did the oxygen come from? I'd guess compressed air, which in any case is needed to force water from the bulkheads. But what happened to the largely CO2 exhaust?

_______________________

Another interesting thing is the U plane, or underwater plane, using a different approach. I heard of this from Heinz Lipschultz, who may have invented the idea, but was snubbed and ignored - or, possibly, kept at arm's length because he was on to something. His idea of a sub was not to have large water-filled tanks, to make the thing able to sink; "What would you think if you had to fill your car half-full of water before you drove it off?" he said to me. Instead you have a heavy cylinder - maybe reinforced concrete. The thing would have 'wings' and the equivalent of ailerons and a tail, but, since water is so much denser, these would be more stub-like. It would be piloted underwater like a plane. He worked out an escape procedure, because, like a shark as popularly imagined, it would have to keep moving to avoid sinking. This involved electrolysis of seawater to inflate some sort of bags. I don't know what his suggested engine was.
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby FirstClassSkeptic » 05 Sep 2011 11:28

rerevisionist wrote:
Instead you have a heavy cylinder - maybe reinforced concrete. The thing would have 'wings' and the equivalent of ailerons and a tail, but, since water is so much denser, these would be more stub-like. It would be piloted underwater like a plane. He worked out an escape procedure, because, like a shark as popularly imagined, it would have to keep moving to avoid sinking. This involved electrolysis of seawater to inflate some sort of bags. I don't know what his suggested engine was.


Why not do the opposite, and have it lighter than water, and as it moved, it would dive under the water. When it stopped, it would come back up.

The diesel engine charged the batteries. The submarine rises to the surface, usually with a snorkel so that it isn't completely out of the water, and runs the diesel. Then under the water, the batteries worked.
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby rerevisionist » 05 Sep 2011 14:12

[1] U plane. Yes; I suppose Lipschultz's idea was to optimise things for some typical depth. (There's a good account in Verne of the effects of water at depth - the pressure is very high, but water isn't very compressible, so the density is about the same. Otherwise e.g. shipwrecks would sink only up to the point at which water was so dense the wreck would stay suspended). So you don't waste energy making the thing dive all the time. Lipschultz believes these things have been tried in secret. He had an apocalyptic vision of the sea having armed u-planes on the sea bed, ready to launch missiles. I wish he'd been alive when I heard about the nuke conpiracies and nuke hoaxes - an inventor could be a good person to discuss these issues with.

[2] The reason I was querying Diesel engines is because I'm pretty sure films showing submarines (e.g. 'Das Boot, which might be more realistic than Hollywood stuff) showed the engines working underwater, complete with sweating mechanics etc. But I may be wrong - I tend not to watch films carefully unless I'm trying to do a serious analysis.

Certainly it makes sense to surface to get at unlimited air and let exhaust gases out, and recharge. And even more sense not to surface fully. But could batteries really drive these things?

Cactusneedles thinks Stirling engines could be used with batteries, but I'm not sure if temperature differences are large enough to generate much power. I wish he'd presented more detail.
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby rerevisionist » 06 Sep 2011 14:01

One of cactusneedles' comments was that submarines could be recharged electrically by underwater cable; and after all there are undersea cables crossing the globe. Maybe this technology had been designed, and the nuclear thing was a distraction, or bluff, or extra money-making scheme? After all submarines in 1945 had been operational for at least (say) 35 years.

If you remember there were accounts of military planes (bombers?) being refuelled while in the air, connected by a long flexible hose to another plane. (I have some doubts whether this was quite as feasible as the breathless TV accounts said. ...) But something similar could apply with submarines.
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby FirstClassSkeptic » 06 Sep 2011 20:47

Maybe they could be recharged by induction? Or have some arm that sticks out like on an electric train, to contact a railing?

What you said about underground cables; I hadn't thought of that. There's lots of them down there. And a sub crew member wouldn't know what was going on. He was just know the sub was stopped for some reason, which he didn't need to know, and so wouldn't be told. Or told a cover story.
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Re: Nuclear submarines?

Postby rerevisionist » 08 Sep 2011 03:29

I read somewhere that the way to recharge submarines is from below - if you have some sort of indentation in the bottom of the sub going up, the internal air makes things easier by keeping the sea away. Maybe this applies if you need more compressed air or oxygen, too.

(NB you must have heard of sodium peroxide; it used to be made, maybe still is, by burning sodium in excess oxygen, which gives Na2O2, rather than Na2O. This material absorbs CO2 to give sodium carbonate, and also gives off oxygen - though only half the volume, looking at the equation. Useful to process submarine's air).

Charging by induction - well done - I didn't think of that. If you can do it with a toothbrush... If I understand the process, you'd need a ceramic or plastic (non-metallic) surround, maybe a cylinder poking up inside from the sub bottom, with the current-carrying coil poked inside it.
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