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  • Decommissioning nuclear powered ships and subs.

    It seems the novelty of having a nuclear powered ship or sub wears off rather quickly once they reach the end of their service life. The cost of decommissioning them is far from cheap, nor easy. Currently the UK has more decommissioned subs waiting to be scrapped than what's in service, some with nuclear fuel still onboard. The US navy has yet to dismantle the USS Enterprise, costs could be over 1.5 billion and take 10 years to complete.
    The Russian decommissioned subs need a wiki page of their own...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decommissioning_of_Russian_nuclear-powered_vessels​


    Decommissioned-RN-nuclear-submarines-at-Devonport.png

    4582823-1533844248.jpg?crop=1xw:0.749926964650891xh;center,top&resize=1200:*.jpg

    85694b0f1b60b4713c98a7055101d40c.jpg
    Last edited by Achtung Baby; 19 Jun 19, 06:01.
    "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
    Ernest Hemingway.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
    It seems the novelty of having a nuclear powered ship or sub wears off rather quickly once they reach the end of their service life. The cost of decommissioning them is far from cheap, nor easy. Currently the UK has more decommissioned subs waiting to be scrapped than what's in service, some with nuclear fuel still onboard. The US navy has yet to dismantle the USS Enterprise, costs could be over 1.5 billion and take 10 years to complete.
    The Russian decommissioned subs need a wiki page of their own...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decommissioning_of_Russian_nuclear-powered_vessels​


    Decommissioned-RN-nuclear-submarines-at-Devonport.png

    4582823-1533844248.jpg?crop=1xw:0.749926964650891xh;center,top&resize=1200:*.jpg

    85694b0f1b60b4713c98a7055101d40c.jpg
    About 30 years or so ago I got roped in as an observer on a project to do with de commissioning some British nuclear subs. The problem was when they were first built the blue prints for the reactors were just that - genuine blue prints - and over time these had faded beyond visibility. Fortunately technology developed in the USA came to the rescue. This had first been used to read Confederate Army pay records. It would seem that as the Union blockade had tightened the ink had been progressively diluted and combined with the ravages of time this had resulted in records that had faded into invisibility. They were recovered with computer based visual imaging as were the British reactor drawings. I found it interesting as I had been around when Rolls Royce ( a subsidiary of which had developed the reactors) had first considered digitising the blue prints in the late 60s and rejected this as being too expensive, on the blue horizon of technology, probably unnecessary.

    An Admiralty guy involved on the later project remarked "If you think we've got problems spare a thought for those poor ****s in the Russian nuclear fleet".
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      I think Puget Sound is onto something on how to do this most efficiently.



      Cut the ship up into big chunks and have just one chunk with the bad nuclear stuff in it. Get rid of the rest, then deal with the nuclear section separately. My suggestion on that chunk would be sink it in a deep ocean trench on a tectonic plate margin and let the planet deal with it...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        I think Puget Sound is onto something on how to do this most efficiently.



        Cut the ship up into big chunks and have just one chunk with the bad nuclear stuff in it. Get rid of the rest, then deal with the nuclear section separately. My suggestion on that chunk would be sink it in a deep ocean trench on a tectonic plate margin and let the planet deal with it...
        Well surprise surprise that stupid idea had been thought of a long time ago and dumping bad stuff in a deep part of the ocean has proved the most idiotic idea of them all. Mankind already has large amounts of chemical weapons in the deep just waiting to bubble to the surface and adding nuclear to it just takes the biscuit. There was a project to build a bridge from Britain to Ireland (Boris still believes in it) it has had to be abandoned because it would cross a trench full of HE and mustard gas dumped there circa 1946, It's akin to getting rid of your filth by dumping it in the public park
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MarkV View Post

          Well surprise surprise that stupid idea had been thought of a long time ago and dumping bad stuff in a deep part of the ocean has proved the most idiotic idea of them all. Mankind already has large amounts of chemical weapons in the deep just waiting to bubble to the surface and adding nuclear to it just takes the biscuit. There was a project to build a bridge from Britain to Ireland (Boris still believes in it) it has had to be abandoned because it would cross a trench full of HE and mustard gas dumped there circa 1946, It's akin to getting rid of your filth by dumping it in the public park
          You missed the point. I was just suggesting a possible solution for the nuclear parts, since all they would be are irradiated steel for the most part emitting low level alpha and beta radiation. The fuel would have been removed for storage or, better yet, reprocessing.

          But, the idea still stands. Get rid of the non-radioactive bits first then deal separately with the radioactive ones. For a sub, that means you can get rid of about 80% of the boat leaving just the reactor compartment to deal with.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

            You missed the point. I was just suggesting a possible solution for the nuclear parts, since all they would be are irradiated steel for the most part emitting low level alpha and beta radiation. The fuel would have been removed for storage or, better yet, reprocessing.

            But, the idea still stands. Get rid of the non-radioactive bits first then deal separately with the radioactive ones. For a sub, that means you can get rid of about 80% of the boat leaving just the reactor compartment to deal with.
            Your point is that you regard the Ocean as a free to all garbage dump - no it's so obvious that it's impossible to miss
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MarkV View Post
              Well surprise surprise that stupid idea had been thought of a long time ago and dumping bad stuff in a deep part of the ocean has proved the most idiotic idea of them all.
              The Soviets simply cut out the reactor vessels from their decommissioned subs and dropped them into the Arctic Ocean off Novaya Zemlya.
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              • #8
                Hi

                There's a great article here about the RN's SSBN/SSN awaiting scrapping:-
                https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the...ar-submarines/

                Regards

                Andy H
                "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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