Lloyd's Register, Enterprises Shipping and Trading, Hyperion Power Generation and BMT have joined forces to explore the potential for nuclear power (Hyperions small 25 MWe reactors) to propel future generations of commercial tankers
Changing to nuclear powered container ships would reduce air pollution by the equivalent of about 20,000 cars converted to electric for each container ship that is converted.
Savannah River national lab has an agreement to build one of the first Hyperion Power Generation 25 MWe reactors and it could be operating in as little as three years.
There has been commercial nuclear cargo ship and the russians have nuclear ice breakers and there have been hundreds of nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers.
The CEO COSCO, a large chinese shipping company, has stated a serious interest in nuclear powered commercial shipping. There have been detailed financial studies done. A study showed that a nuclear ship would be $40 million per year cheaper to operate when bunker oil is at $500/ton. Those studies had indicated improved economics when bunker fuel is over $300/ton. Bunker oil is currently about $375/ton. Also, changing to nuclear powered container ships would reduce air pollution by the equivalent of about 20,000 cars converted to electric per container ship that is converted.
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