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Old Nuclear Submarines Could Generate Clean Hydrogen



Who said that the nuclear age is over is not quite right. Nuclear weapons exist all over the world since WW2, and they are being stored in all kinds of places, including submarines. These nuclear supplies could give us extra energy at a price similar to oil, if not better.

Hydro Kevin published an interesting story on his blog about a letter written to him by a retired Apollo engineer, he calls Adrian F. This guy has a vision involving the use of nuclear submarines to generate hydrogen from seawater, and then transport it to the land.

I’ll take a quote from that letter on Kevin’s blog: “In my vision, the hydrogen is produced from sea water using state of the art high temperature nuclear reactors (like China is now building) cooled by sea water. On board production is done far out to sea away from population centers and sensitive eco systems. The government has large stock piles of nuclear material from the end of the cold war that can be converted to hydrogen. Nuclear waste can be recycled and or deposited in the safe depths of the Arctic Ocean where Russia has been safely doing so for years. With cheap clean nuclear power the hydrogen can be liquefied for efficient storage and distribution.

“This relatively newly developed nuclear technology can produce energy to run our cars with the cost efficiency close to that of oil.( $1.50 / kg) This newer method described above could bring costs for production and distribution under $3 a gallon equivalent. Even factoring in the cost of uranium and enrichment.”

I’m not an expert in nuclear energy, but I guess the only real problem standing in this plan’s way is the governments involved and the political aspects. It’s like turning weapons into farming tools… it could be viable for a while… don’t know… What do you think about it?

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  1. It would be better if floating ocean nuclear power plants produced methanol instead of hydrogen, IMO. This could be done by utilizing portable CO2 extraction devices. Current concepts envision these portable devices being small enough to fit on a truck.

    Instead of trying to get permission for a nuclear powered vessel to dock at coastal ports, methanol could be unloaded to methanol transport tanker ships that dock with these oceanic nuclear power facilities. Then the methanol could be shipped to coastal ports all over the world.

    Some of the methanol could be converted into gasoline or dimethyl ether. Methanol could also be used to supply coastal cities with electric power.

    Or gasoline, methanol, diesel fuel, and jet fuel could be manufactured at the nuclear vessel before being transported by tankers to coastal ports.



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