What is A4W?

The A4W reactor is a naval reactor used by the United States Navy to propel warships and generate onboard electricity. The A4W designation stands for: A = Aircraft carrier platform. 4 = Contractor’s fourth core design generation. W = Westinghouse, the contracted designer.

How does A4W reactor work?

The steam from the A4W reactors is passed through four General Electric turbines, that power the four, 25-foot diameter bronze propellers. The power of the four propeller shafts produce a maximum power output of 280,000 horsepower and a top speed of over 36 knots (56 km/h).

Which fuel is used in heavy water nuclear reactor?

natural uranium
The nuclear fuel cycle. Converted and enriched uranium is used in fuel fabrication processes for light water reactors; natural uranium is used for heavy water reactors.

What fuel do Navy reactors use?

uranium (HEU)
Currently, US and UK naval reactors are fueled by weapon-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) containing 93.5% of the chain-reacting isotope, U-235.

How much uranium does an aircraft carrier use?

If you were to run each type of aircraft carrier with 200,000 horsepower, non-stop for one-week, a conventional carrier (HMS Queen Elizabeth) would require over 5 million liters (1,30,000 gallons) of diesel fuel while a nuclear carrier (USS Gerald R Ford) would require just 4 Kilograms (8.8 pounds) of enriched uranium.

How much does an A1B reactor cost?

They are also quite cost effective, for example the cost of the 2 reactors A1B [1] that power a Gerald Ford carrier is about $1 BN. That comes to about $2BN/GW, which is about a tenth of what a civilian reactor costs. The US Navy builds about 1 carrier every 4 years so that comes to 1 reactor every other year.

Why is deuterium used in nuclear reactor?

Deuterium works as a moderator as it absorbs fewer neutrons than hydrogen, which is extremely important as nuclear fission reactions require neutrons to carry out their chain reactions. The heavy water is kept under pressure which increases its boiling point so that it can operate at high temperatures without boiling.

What is deuterium made of?

Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that is composed of one proton, one neutron, and one electron. The nucleus of deuterium is composed of a proton and a neutron.

Why are nuclear submarines better than diesel?

Nuclear power provides attack submarines with a sustained submerged speed of more than 30 knots, considerably greater than any contemporary diesel submarine.

How long can a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier go without refueling?

20 years
As a result of the use of nuclear power, the ships are capable of operating for over 20 years without refueling and are predicted to have a service life of over 50 years. They are categorized as nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and are numbered with consecutive hull numbers between CVN-68 and CVN-77.