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Savannah - Nuclear Power and Merchant Shipping

Savannah - Nuclear Power and Merchant Shipping

This 40 page booklet was part of a "Understanding the Atom" series. The U.S Atomic Energy Commission mailed this to me free of charge after I learned about it is school somewhere. I wrote them and said I wanted a copy for a high school paper or some other similar lie. It was printed in 1965, and I got it is 1968. I will donate this to my union's Calhoon M.E.B.A. Engineering School for the Savannah display

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Here are some of the high points of the book after sifting through the general reactor and steam and water cycle stuff.
The Savannah was not intended to be economically competitive since the small light weight reactors designed to be competitive with conventional steam plants were then , not yet available. The ship sailed around trying to introduce the friendliness (my words) of the nuclear ship idea...which translates to a voyage summary of worldwide open house visits, handshaking "meet and greet" excercises, and LOT of free drinks . It is reasonable to believe that bribes, cash envelopes, foreign aid giveaways, and other payola was divvied out since that's the American way !

George G. Sharp, designer of the United States also designed the Savannah. Several factors were working against the survival of the U.S. merchant marine even in the 1950s. Among them were higher wages due to America's standard of living and the aging of the fleet which would face the need for innovative newbuild designs. The way to offset higher operating costs (taxes, American salaries, etc.), would require more cargo to offset these costs = 30 knot freighters holding no fuel oil. Premium cargo rates was the answer.

Training the enigineers could take as little as 5 months for already licensed and educated marine engineers to get their foot in the door of an engine room. This sounds like a streamlined and acceptible training idea compared to what the Savannah's guys went through. I sailed with a guy who was invited into the Savannah's training program. Harry Cohen of Houston was already taking newbuild Mariners on maiden voyages and was a real hands on - get sweaty, dirty, steam guy. He reported to the Savannah school which was to last 18 months getting 1st Asst. engineer's pay. He quit after sitting there listening to physics professors ramble on for weeks about isotopes and charts and graphs - a total waste of time. That stuff is great for the white uniform professional students that lived for the glory of onboard cocktail parties and chit-chat...and never touched a tool.

The book also discussed large tanker submarines which would not be subjected to storms and damaging surface conditions delivering cargo under polar ice.

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I wrote to States Marine Lines for a photo.(which I received)Whilst still at school I used the title Master A.D.Frost and they wrote back to me Captaiin A.D.Frost.

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In Europe we have the quite strong opinion that the very small US Merchant fleet is just because of the rigid flag rules in laws, which do not admit newbuildings to be under United States flag except for very few exceptions. It is strange that the very homeland of free enterprise capitalism really tolerate this killing fact for the business...

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