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USS Nautilus SSN 571

PlasticPlanet - USS Nautilus SSN 571    In spite of success in the Second World War, the combat submarines had many notable shortcomings. The most important thing was undoubtedly the speed of cruise with diesel engines.

USS Nautilus SSN 571

 

AUTHOR: RUDOLF TOMSA - PHOTO: AUTHOR ARCHIV

In spite of success in the Second World War, the combat submarines had many notable shortcomings. The most serious thing was undoubtedly the speed of cruise with diesel engines, which was much lower compared to the enemy destroyers, and not to mention the cruise below the surface when using electric drive to move. In addition, after the elapsed time had elapsed, the perfectly masked ships had to go out to recharge the batteries and recover
for his crew a vital air supply. It was at this critical time that they became the most vulnerable level and airborne resources of the alien party. Submarine engineers have long been looking for a way to eliminate them
undesirable operational risks and, in addition, to develop an ideal solution allowing you to increase enough speed enough or to spend the entire shipping time masked by an infinite mass of sea water. Despite the enormity
of effort, few of them realized that they had a hand-held solution in the form of a nuclear drive.

Nuclear Program 19
The idea of ​​a nuclear submarine emerged before the Second World War, when US scientists submitted to the Navy a new propulsion drive using the nuclear atomization reaction. The principle of the whole system consisted of heat exchangers, in which the water heated by the nuclear reactor changed to the gaseous state and then steamed the turbines. These were supposed to drive onboard generators generating the current for the electric screwdriver motors. To the new technology, the largely pessimistic-oriented congressmen released a modest financial amount of less than $ 1,500 in the development of nuclear power in early 1939. However, the development of the device has never materialized in the face of the ongoing war crisis. However, the project did not get lost completely, and in the middle of 1946 the vision of nuclear power was restored by several naval officers. Among them was a 46-year-old technical officer, Captain Hyman G. Rickover, whose post-war task was the conservation of surplus warships embedded in countless harbors on the Pacific Ocean. Recognized expert in the field of marine electrical systems enraged nuclear energy and in the study he met important physicist Dr. Philip H. Abelson. Both actors began gathering around each other similarly minded people who would be able to convince responsible military and political forces of the need for the development of a nuclear submarine. Within the Ministry of Defense, they first had to convince the Navy Command, then the Secretary of the Navy, and finally the Minister of Defense himself. The highest-ranking naval officer was at the time Chief of Maritime Operations (CNO) Admiral Chester Nimitz.


The Pacific hero, stimulated by the vision of a new underwater vessel capable of unrestricted operation below the surface, responded to Rickover and Abelson's proposal surprisingly positively. He then sent a memorandum to the Secretary of the Seafarers requesting the approval of the allocation of funds for the development of the new vessel. Navy Secretary John L. Sullivan also approved Nimitz's memorandum and forwarded it to Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal. At the beginning of 1948, the Navy could finally initiate the construction of a nuclear submarine. At that time, however, the US Navy secretly devel- oped the development of the on-board reactor. For this purpose, two laboratories were established. The Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, New York, which worked with an already existing " Daniel 's nuclear reactor (with spacing
time experimentally used in the aviation), while the Rickover-led Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee has been developing a completely new reactor for the hefty efforts of Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

You can read more in Plastic Planet 5.