Otto Hahn (ship)

From Academic Kids

Otto Hahn is one of only four nuclear-powered cargo vessels ever built. Planning of a German-built trade and research vessel to test the feasibility of nuclear power in civil service began in 1960, and Otto Hahn's keel was laid down in 1963 by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG of Kiel. She was launched in 1964 sponsored by Dr. Otto Hahn, a German physicist who had helped describe the generation of energy via nuclear decay, and then spent the rest of his life advocating peaceful uses for this power. In 1968, the ship's 38-megawatt nuclear reactor was taken critical and sea trials began. In October of that year, NS Otto Hahn was certified for commercial freight transport and research.

Configured to carry passengers and ore, Otto Hahn made her first port call in Casablanca in 1970. In 1972, after four years of operation, her reactor was refueled. She had covered some 250,000 nautical miles (463,000 km) on 22 kilograms of uranium.

In 1979 Otto Hahn was deactivated. Her nuclear reactor and propulsion plant were removed and replaced by a conventional diesel engineroom. In nine years, she had traveled 650,000 nautical miles (1,200,000 km) on nuclear power, visiting 33 ports in 22 countries.

In 1983, Otto Hahn was recomissioned as the container ship MS Trophy and leased into commercial marine service. On 19 November of that year, she was renamed MS Norasia Susan. She became the MS Norasia Helga in 1985, MS Hua Kang He in 1989, and MS Madre some time after that.

General characteristics

  • Displacement 25,790 tons (26,200 t) full, 16,871 tons (17,141 t) standard
  • Length: 164.3 m waterline, 172.0 m overall
  • Beam: 23.4 m
  • Freeboard: 5.3 m
  • Capacity: 14,040 gross register tons (39,760 m³)
  • Propulsion: Nuclear drive
  • Speed: 15.75 knots (29 km/h)
  • Waterproof compartments: 14
  • Loading spaces: 6
  • Complement 63 crew, 35 research personnel maximum
  • Reactor
    • Power: 38 MW
    • Volume: 35 m³
    • Pressure: 85 kp/cm² (8.3 MPa)
    • Temperature: 300 °C
    • Fuel: 1.7 metric tons of 3.5-6.6% enriched uranium
    • Endurance under full load: 900 days
    • Average fuel burn-up: 23,000 MW·d/t
    • Average thermal neutron flux: 1.1×1013/(cm²·s)
    • Number of elements/fuel rods: 12/2810
    • Equivalent minor diameter: 1050 mm
    • Active core height: 830 mm
    • Fuel rod diameter: 11.4 mm
    • Fuel cladding: 0.8 mm of Zircalloy 4
    • Manufacturer: Deutsche Babcock & Wilcox-Dampfkesselwerke AG und Internationale Atomreaktorbau GmbH
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