Connect with us
https://tickernews.co/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/AmEx-Thought-Leaders.jpg

News

Pros and cons of nuclear submarines | ticker VIEWS

Published

on

The Australian Government has declared a historic Trilateral deal with the United States and the United Kingdom that will see a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines

As part of the new trilateral alliance between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom, Australia will have the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines. However, what is a nuclear submarine and how does it differ from its diesel rival?

What is a nuclear submarine?

The most important thing to note about this defence deal is a nuclear-powered submarine is not a nuclear weapon. The key difference between a nuclear submarine and a diesel submarine is the way they’re powered.

Submarines with nuclear propulsion systems have a limitless range, are less detectable, and are faster. Reports suggest nuclear submarines can reach speeds of 55 kmh in comparison to conventional submarines’ speeds of approximately 15 kmh.

A nuclear submarine would give the Australian navy the ability to patrol the Indo-Pacific for a longer time and farther, venturing as far north as Taiwan.

Each nuclear submarine draws power from its own onboard nuclear reactor.

“At the heart of every atom is an atomic nucleus, made of protons and neutrons. The number of protons defines what chemical element that atom belongs to; nuclei with the same number of protons but varying numbers of neutrons are called isotopes of that element.”

“Some very heavy nuclei are highly susceptible to a process known as nuclear fission, whereby they split into two lighter nuclei with a total mass less than the original nucleus. The remainder is converted to energy.”

“The amount of energy released is immense, as we can see from Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc², which tells us the energy is equal to the change in mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light!”

“Reactors in a nuclear-powered submarine are typically fuelled with uranium. Natural uranium mined from the ground consists mainly of an isotope called uranium-238, mixed with small amounts (0.7%) of the key isotope uranium-235.”

AJ Mitchell, Research Fellow, Australian National University

Mitchell explains for the reactor to work, the uranium fuel must be “enriched” to contain the proportion of uranium-235. This is normally about 50% for submarines.

The fuel enrichment determines the chain reaction to ensure a consistent and safe energy output. This is a crucial factor in maintaining a chain reaction that gives a consistent, safe level of energy output.

The output occurs as heat, which the turbines used to generate electricity for the submarine.

PROS & CONS

One huge advantage of nuclear-powered submarines is they don’t require refueling. The vessels will have enough uranium fuel to last more than 30 years.

Australia wants eight nuclear submarines. It is likely to take as many as 18 months to work out details of the agreement before work on the submarines begins in Australia. Building and commissioning such nuclear-powered submarines can take years or even decades.

Nonetheless, this deal will move closer to China’s existing fleet of six Shang-class nuclear submarines, who also own an additional 50 diesel/electric submarines.

The high efficiency of nuclear power enables the submarines to operate at high speed for longer periods than conventional diesel-electric submarines. Nuclear reactions do not require air, meaning they can stay submerged at deep depths for long periods of time.

The downside of nuclear is the eye-watering cost. Estimations suggest each submarine will cost billions of dollars to build and a highly skilled workforce with expertise in nuclear science.

Australia has plenty of uranium in the ground but doesn’t have the capacity to enrich or fabricate the reactor fuel.

Where does the spent fuel go?

What will happen to the spent fuel? There are heavy debates over the waste storage and disposal options for nuclear fuel.

Australia doesn’t have a domestic nuclear industry to support the manufacturing of these vessels, unlike other countries like the US and China.

Australia will have to rely on another nation for nuclear fuel. Devil will be in the detail over the coming years.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Latest Sydney church horror: Stabbing rocks Wakeley community

Published

on

A man has been arrested after a bishop was stabbed at Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was preaching at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley in Sydney’s west on Monday just after 7pm when a man dressed in black walked up to the altar and allegedly stabbed him multiple times.

Eyewitnesses described scenes of chaos and terror as an assailant approached the altar where Bishop Emmanuel was delivering a sermon.

Chstbrl Saliba, the Deputy Mayor of Fairfield, told Sky News that after the attack, the Bishop got to his feet, and placed his hand on the head of the assailant and began praying for him.

NSW Police said in a statement:

“A police operation is underway in Wakeley, following reports of a stabbing. Officers attached to Fairfield City Police Area Command attended a location on Welcome Street, Wakeley following reports a number of people were stabbed. Officers arrested a male and he is assisting police with inquiries.”

2GB Radio host Ben Fordham says the situation is so chaotic outside the church that police have had to use capsicum spray outside of the church. One woman has been treated.

 

Fordham says police are concerned about the volatile situation outside the church.

Without warning, the attacker unleashed a flurry of stabs, targeting the bishop and several worshippers in a frenzied assault.

Horrifying footage captured the moment of the attack, as the live broadcast on the church’s social media pages captured the unfolding tragedy.

Bishop Emmanuel’s expression of astonishment turned to one of sheer horror as he became the primary target of the assailant’s vicious blows.

NSW ambulance has confirmed at least one person has been taken to hospital.

The assault at Christ the Good Shepherd Church echoes previous instances of mass violence that have rocked Sydney in recent years, after six people were killed by a man at Bondi.

Continue Reading

News

Eisman identifies infrastructure as key investment opportunity

Published

on

Famed investor Steve Eisman, has shifted his focus to infrastructure, citing three main reasons.

 

The pandemic-induced shift towards onshore investment, the rise of AI necessitating data centre expansion, and the global push towards greener energy.

Eisman believes these trends offer a decade-long opportunity for investors, with Australia presenting ample opportunities for market participation.

Notable companies to consider for exposure include BlueScope and James Hardie Industries for building materials, Macquarie Technology and Goodman Group for data centres, and Worley, AGL Energy, and Origin Energy for electricity grid upgrades and green infrastructure.

However, Eisman cautions investors to approach utility investments carefully, considering their capital expenditure budgets in renewable energy and grid upgrades.

 

Continue Reading

News

Civil War cinema brings in the box office dollars

Published

on

Alex Garland’s film “Civil War” has made a significant impact at the box office, surpassing expectations with a $25.7 million opening weekend in North America.

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, and Cailee Spaeny, the film explores a near-future scenario where California and Texas unite against a president’s authoritarian regime. Despite fictional elements, “Civil War” has sparked widespread discussion, with its themes resonating in today’s political climate. The film’s performance, coupled with positive reviews, suggests a promising trajectory in the coming weeks, bolstered by a relatively quiet release schedule.

You can catch the trailer here

 

Continue Reading
Live Watch Ticker News Live
Advertisement

Trending Now

Copyright © 2024 The Ticker Company