A nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is so good, does it have any shortcomings?

On the morning of January 17, 1955, on the coast of the United States, the first nuclear-powered ship in human history, the “Nautilus”, slowly left the dock. At 11:00 in the morning, an epoch-making message was sent from the nuclear submarine. The signal “My boat is sailing with nuclear power” is the first time in human history to use nuclear power to propel a ship to sail. Since then, this new form of power has become a reality and entered the arena of world war.

The nuclear power technology is clean, quiet, and does not produce large infrared and smoke signals. The nuclear power is strong and abundant, which can ensure the ship’s nearly unlimited power, acceleration and deceleration, regardless of fuel consumption, sufficient power generation capacity, and the ship can guarantee all The long-term operation of power-consuming equipment greatly enhances the self-sustainability and independent combat capability of warships, and the endurance is almost unlimited.

But nuclear power technology is also expensive. A nuclear-powered ship is more than half the cost of conventional power ships of the same combat power and tonnage when built. Although a lot of fuel costs and logistical maintenance costs can be saved in future use, the cost of construction is the same. This has left many countries at a loss. For example, the cost of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the United States is about 10 billion US dollars. In other countries, this price is enough to build an entire aircraft carrier battle group.

Moreover, nuclear-powered ships are more dangerous than conventional-powered ships. Once hit, they may cause nuclear leakage or even serious nuclear reactor explosion accidents. In the world, nuclear-powered ships sailing near other countries must not only fulfill the notification normally. It is also necessary to prepare emergency shelters and emergency rescue plans to prevent the failure of nuclear reactors on ships from endangering the safety of countries along the route. The nuclear submarine of the former Soviet Union sank in the Norwegian waters. So far, the nuclear reactor has not been salvaged in the sea, releasing nuclear pollution and causing serious environmental pollution.

In addition, the decommissioning procedure of nuclear-powered ships is relatively complicated, and the nuclear reactors need to be shut down and stored, otherwise the nuclear fuel and nuclear reactors on the ships will cause serious harm and pollution. It is understandable that the construction is slow in the factory, but the dismantling of the ship is still slow, mainly because the dismantling operation of the nuclear reactor is complicated and requires a long period of shutdown and storage operations. Therefore, the construction, use and decommissioning of nuclear-powered ships are expensive and test the strength of the country.