Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Viscount Mockton,  self-styled "hydrodynamics advisor to Prime Minister Thatcher," and "Chairman of the Blue Riband Commission on the Trans-Atlantic speed record"  has gone ballistic with a WUWT stemwinder entitled  The Economics of the Madhouse, in which he avers  the UK power grid may soon:
" Install 1.2  GW of  new nuclear  capacity  each  year   ( the equivalent of two nuclear submarines ).  But --  insanity upon insanity-- the low-spec civilian-grade reactors they are going to buy from Hitachi cost six times as much as the high-spec, military-grade Rolls Royce reactors in our Trident submarines."
This has left submariners chuckling silently but deeply,  as the largest extant marine propulsion reactors are rated under 200 megawatts thermal, and a very big, very fast sub gets enough steam from a sixty megawatt (.06 GW) pair to leap half out of the water as shown above.

No 600 megawatt propulsion reactors exist, and the .18 GW reactors that power carriers and other capital ships are physically too large to fit within a sub hull, a fact that soon impresses itself on technology S-2's to  Cold War  novelists obliged to  crawl around the engineering spaces in question.

My late coauthor must be smiling at Monckton's modest proposal, for while the thunder of  three quarters of a million shaft horsepower might scare the planckton and pop the ears of sonarmen for 20,000 leagues in all directions, it would provide  turns enough to scare the hell out of the craziest Ivan in the seven seas.