Re: fleet week: just-in-time nuclear electricity?

From: Chuck Murcko (
Date: Wed Jan 24 2001 - 13:55:40 PST

Yes, the biggest problem there is that substations (where you'd tie in to the local electric net) are not rated to take the generated power levels from a large shipboard plant. You'd need to split the feed over a number of substations to avoid crashing the net, literally.

An aircraft carrier (4 shafts, 65,000 hp per shaft) would be about 4 times the output of the Mike sub example.

I'm still chuckling about the idea of a sub in the Berkeley marnia. 8^)

The California problem, coupled with the IPCC/UN report, leads me to an interesting prediction. In the IPCC report, global temperatures are said to be related directly to the amount of fossil fuels burned over the next century. Thus, I predict the following over the next century in the US (yeah, I know it's way out there - remember France and Japan):

0) The US whines, debates, and wrings its hands for a decade or so while it attempts to develop *any* useful energy generation capacity that's not fossil or nuclear.
1) Nuc (fission and fusion) power becomes fashionable again as "cleaner than coal"
2) Advanced, standard design fission plants start to come into service - this is ostensibly to give the planet time to decide/engineer what next
3) Advanced, standard design fission breeder plants start to come into service - this is ostensibly to give the planet more time to decide/engineer what next, as the time bought by measure 2) expires 8^(
4) Fusion energy development once again commences at a high level in the US, after huge funding cuts in the 1990s, and 1st generation fusion plants (D-T fuel) take over both electric generation and waste disposal from 2) and 3)
5) 2nd and 3rd generation (D-D and D-He3 fuel, respectively) fusion plants come into service

Remember, it was Jimmy Carter who called for an effort on the scale of the Manhattan Project to commercialize fusion energy within 20 years. That was, I believe, 1979.

Definitely my $0.02 involved here somewhere.

On Tuesday, January 23, 2001, at 08:00 PM, Brian A. LaMacchia wrote:

> Apparently it's harder to wire the ships into the grid than you'd think; see
> Peter Gutmann's description of some of the things the Aucklanders tried
> during their long blackout in '98:
> (Paragraph 5 under "Generators and Disaster Plans" in particular...)
> --bal
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Gordon Mohr" <>
> To: <FoRK@XeNT.CoM>
> Sent: Monday, January 22, 2001 6:33 PM
> Subject: fleet week: just-in-time nuclear electricity?
> > Anyone here know enough about naval nuclear reactors to say whether
> parking
> > a few subs and aircraft carriers in the bay and cabling them to the local
> > power grid could save silicon valley from rolling blackouts?
> >
> > Just wondering.
> >
> > If this would work, I'd suggest tethering a sub in the Berkeley
> > marina, for optimal irony generation.
> >
> > - Gordon
> >
> >

Chuck Murcko
Topsail Group

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