Your Mission, if you choose to accept it...CVLN's

Could the USCG make good use of disaster relief aircraft carriers?


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ShySusan

Gone Fishin'
I would presume that the first two lines refer to folks that answer to somebody else, in a higher political position, and that, should such ships be placed on order, that alone would require support from said 'higher authority' in the first place, and thus it would be redundant to look at this part of your response, not because it isn't true, reasonable, or likely to be as you posted, but because if there were to be support for this project, their objections would simply be over-ruled by those above them.
Naval Reactors is not just a Navy organization. They ultimately answer to the Department of Energy. So unless the President intends to overrule any and all objections, they very much can kill this program.
 
What about a class of nuclear ice breakers? That could also be used for power?

As the Soviet/Russian ships show Nuclear icebreakers are possible and might actually be economical due to the massive power required and not needing to go anywhere but USA/CAN that could be under a specific treaty?

Aircraft wise they might only have a hangar for a couple of helicopters so not much of a CV.... but they could also have a nice cargo hold for disaster supplies or to supple Arctic and Antarctic bases?

Sure could! The reason I'm sticking to the idea of a nuclear CVLN though, is that, while other ships can provide some of the needed mission requirements, I feel that only a carrier can be counted on to provide some of everything. Not that I think that any one ship is going to handle a Fukushima or Indonesian Tsunami single handedly of course, but having some of everything, and enough room and customization capability to tailor your configuration to the likely mission is something that only a large ship can provide, and a flight deck is needed to carry emergency payloads off of the ship. A landing ship can do some of this, and landing craft can do more than aircraft, provided that the beaches/shoreline in not covered in debris and dead bodies. If the coast is clear, then most tonnage of aid supplies and equipment could be brought in there, while the ports are being cleared, but if the ports and coasts are both all messed up, then air is going to be the only way in immediately, and what if the disaster is something like a massive blizzard 100+ miles inland? Can a landing ship be loaded with snowplows, and then land then on the beach/coast? Sure, but how to get them inland from there?

Getting tired, and need my nap now. :(
 
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What time frame?
After WW2, take a Sangamon class escort carrier and fit it out for helecoptors. Fuel bunkers are large enough to run a generator for a long time.
Stack half the deck with containerized freight and start flight operations once the containers are unloaded.
 
Naval Reactors is not just a Navy organization. They ultimately answer to the Department of Energy. So unless the President intends to overrule any and all objections, they very much can kill this program.
Well, lets keep in mind for this outlandish idea to move from pen and paper flights of fancy to actual steel and boots on ground, we would almost certainly have to have gotten not just the president on board, but the congress as well, and if those two branches are down with this idea, I cannot see the DoE being able to stop it if both the executive and legislative branches sign off on it.

Or put another way, if such an idea were to be proposed by some serious, well educated, well respected groups, and they had all the facts and figures to prove that it could be done, what would they then have to do to make it so? If the legislative branch is against it, it never makes it to the presidents desk to get signed, and unless the legislative branch has a 2/3 majority in favor of it, even then the Executive branch can veto it.
 
NAVSEA 08 has a dotted line to NNSA (DOE). They kind of report to NAVSEA and CNO. They are headed by a 4 star Admiral serving an 8 year term. They are the NRC for the Navy. If they say no, it would be no. They are only concerned with the safe and secure operation of navy reactors.

k in electric terms is kilowatt. 1000 watts.
M is megawatts. 1000 kilowatts.
A typical US house uses around 10,000 watts or 10 kilowatts (kW).
DC can’t be used as a source. Nobody uses it and you can’t transmit it over any meaningful distance.
Navy nuclear ships security and safety are not other countries rules, they are NAVSEA 08 rules.
For what you want nuclear is just not needed. It can only be built in a couple of places. The upfront costs are huge.
Maintenance costs are huge. EVERY part in a reactor system has to be nuclear rated. EVERY maintenance procedure on a reactor is a long drawn out, step by step using a detailed procedure. Major work can only be done at certain shipyards.
Just use a CODAG system. Combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion. Add in a gas turbine or two for extra electrical generation.
You can get 40 foot containers with 2 625 kW generators in them for 1250 kW or 1.25 MW per container. You can fly those off the ship.
A carrier reactor department has around 500 nuclear personnel in it. Each one can conceivably get $250,000 in bonuses over a 20 year period. Plus higher pay and a 1.5-2 year school to start. It takes 1 person to run a gas turbine generator. They don’t get any of the higher pay or bonuses that Nukes get.
Using nuclear power just over complicates and raises costs too high.
 
NAVSEA 08 has a dotted line to NNSA (DOE). They kind of report to NAVSEA and CNO. They are headed by a 4 star Admiral serving an 8 year term. They are the NRC for the Navy. If they say no, it would be no. They are only concerned with the safe and secure operation of navy reactors.
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Using nuclear power just over complicates and raises costs too high.
But realistically if we are talking about a fleet of nuclear disaster or Coast Guard ships would that not have been decided & funded by the President and Congress and at that point the 4 star simply says yes and tries to make it works?

Since NS Savannah already existed IOTL under AEC would that stop a none navy ship?

For example the Soviet ice-breaker Lenin was the first nuclear-powered civilian ship if US had built a nuclear icebreaker say for Arctic and Antarctic research after the IGY/Antarctic Treaty in 59, rather than a merchant she might then not have had the issue of visiting so many ports etc and have served for far longer and been the inspiration for the development of newer ships?
 
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ShySusan

Gone Fishin'
Since NS Savannah already existed IOTL under AEC would that stop a none navy ship?
NS Savanah does not apply here. She was 100% a civilian vessel. Even the reactor was built to civilian standards and not naval standards. A Coast Guard ship 100% falls under Naval Reactors as, like it or not, the Coast Guard is subordinate to the Navy and falls under the Department of the Navy during wartime. So no, the 4 star in command will not just simply say ok and do what he has to for it to work.
 
NS Savanah does not apply here. She was 100% a civilian vessel. Even the reactor was built to civilian standards and not naval standards. A Coast Guard ship 100% falls under Naval Reactors as, like it or not, the Coast Guard is subordinate to the Navy and falls under the Department of the Navy during wartime. So no, the 4 star in command will not just simply say ok and do what he has to for it to work.
Such and expensive (and really questionable) plan as a CG nuclear ship could really only exist if it was the pet project of the President and Congress? At that point the 4 star will get to help change detailed designs to make it work but if they try to keep stopping it would they not simply be removed, reassigned or ordered to comply by the secretary of the Navy?

If say President Dwight Eisenhower has publicly announced the project as part of IGY/AT and has congressional support to fund it then no officer is going to realistically be able to stop it?
 
Such and expensive (and really questionable) plan as a CG nuclear ship could really only exist if it was the pet project of the President and Congress? At that point the 4 star will get to help change detailed designs to make it work but if they try to keep stopping it would they not simply be removed, reassigned or ordered to comply by the secretary of the Navy?

If say President Dwight Eisenhower has publicly announced the project as part of IGY/AT and has congressional support to fund it then no officer is going to realistically be able to stop it?
If you go back before around 1983 you get Admiral Rickover in charge of Naval Reactors. In that case he gets what he wants. He says no, then no. He was one of the most powerful Admirals ever. He owned SSNs, SSBNs and CVNs. The press loved him and the Pentagon did not.
 
Use the CV 2 Lexington’s as a basis for the ship if you don’t need a well deck. Plenty of electrical power, and it’s been used to power a city, really fast for a hull design, able to redo the magazines for storage or fuel. If you are using helo’s or vstol aircraft plenty of deck and hanger space as is, just have to make the deck fire proof. Use modern powerplant, boilers, generators, and electric motors to get even more out of the design.
 

ShySusan

Gone Fishin'
Use the CV 2 Lexington’s as a basis for the ship if you don’t need a well deck. Plenty of electrical power, and it’s been used to power a city, really fast for a hull design, able to redo the magazines for storage or fuel. If you are using helo’s or vstol aircraft plenty of deck and hanger space as is, just have to make the deck fire proof. Use modern powerplant, boilers, generators, and electric motors to get even more out of the design.
Better off modifying a ship like an LST or better yet an LPD for the mission. If your primary mission is disaster relief, you need masses of cargo space, a hospital with surgical facilities, enough aviation capacity to quickly air lift supplies to affected areas and quickly evacuate injured people to the ship, a large water purification system to supply clean water to affected people and command and control facilities to coordinate the operation. What you don't need are fixed wing air craft or nuclear power. Yes, the excess power generation is nice, but seeing as the odds are very high that the power grid in the area you're going to will be down with the lines destroyed, there's really no sense in having the ship provide masses of power to the area.
 
Look at FEMA, who actually do things inland as well.

The idea is misguided. The reason you get responses from militaries is there are lots of them and no disaster is very far from someone's warship. So they will be first on scene with as a minimum a functioning radio system, functioning galley, spare manpower, first responder medics trained in dealing with trauma and power tools, maybe a helicopter.

After that how many days does it take to travel to the important point and what is needed when you get their - blankets, a hospital, sniffer dogs permission to dock your yankee imperialist no we are not the military really invasion force.

Having a purpose built deck and limited fuel supplies for the aircraft is probably less important than finding a bulldozer and clearing the local airport but if you must there are a lot of LPD around which have space, flight decks and personnel. Also guns to shoot looters.
 
That's a WWI Battlecruiser at the bottom.....I don't see why you would use that as the basis of any post 1945 ship?
Hull design and volume inside. Keep the basic machinery spaces and powerplant layout and their supporting shops, electrical and machinery. Redo the rest of the hull to give the best storage space for fuel or supplies carried. You already have elevators that go from the magazines deep in the hull up to the flight deck, just make them a bit bigger. You don't have to have all the crew onboard like the original ship compliment with modern updates to the ships systems.

Hull design. The Lex had the record for San Francisco to Honolulu for a number of years. Updated powerplant might even make it faster than it was.
 
Hull design and volume inside. Keep the basic machinery spaces and powerplant layout and their supporting shops, electrical and machinery. Redo the rest of the hull to give the best storage space for fuel or supplies carried. You already have elevators that go from the magazines deep in the hull up to the flight deck, just make them a bit bigger. You don't have to have all the crew onboard like the original ship compliment with modern updates to the ships systems.

Hull design. The Lex had the record for San Francisco to Honolulu for a number of years. Updated powerplant might even make it faster than it was.
It's a Hull laid down on 8 January 1921.........

Nothing with it is better than a clean sheet design done post WWII, even just trying to copy it will mean redesigning every part to make it work with Cold War standards and supplies not to mention manufacturing methods at shipyards 50 years later?

Also why do you need the extreme speed at huge cost for a CG disaster relief ship? Even if you needed speed a modern hull would be faster and better hydrodynamical than a 20s one and that's before you add the weight & cost saving from not starting as a battlecruiser.

Lex held the record as she was the only large fast USN ship in existence for a long time......(apart from her sister)
 
The world currently has around 80 large amphib transports and unlike converting WW2 carriers most of them can launch landing craft and helicopters and use crews numbering around 250 and they are conveniently scattered around the world.

If you really must waste money on a specific disaster relief ship - HMNZS Canterbury - only needs 70 crew and actually does do disaster relief. 14 Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles, 16 NZLAV light armoured vehicles, 7 Unimog trucks, 2 ambulances, 2 flatbed trucks, 7 vehicle trailers, 2 rough terrain forklifts, 4 ATV-type vehicles and up to 33 20 ft TEU containers.

Though you may not need the LAV, probably do given the number of guns in the US though,
 
The world currently has around 80 large amphib transports and unlike converting WW2 carriers most of them can launch landing craft and helicopters and use crews numbering around 250 and they are conveniently scattered around the world.

If you really must waste money on a specific disaster relief ship - HMNZS Canterbury - only needs 70 crew and actually does do disaster relief. 14 Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles, 16 NZLAV light armoured vehicles, 7 Unimog trucks, 2 ambulances, 2 flatbed trucks, 7 vehicle trailers, 2 rough terrain forklifts, 4 ATV-type vehicles and up to 33 20 ft TEU containers.

Though you may not need the LAV, probably do given the number of guns in the US though,
Yep.. Having light armored vehicles that could at least withstand .50 Cal AP fire might be a reasonable requirement for such a task :)

Edit to add: Powered turrets with 25mm chain guns might be a bit much, but an APC type vehicle might be handy to have.
 
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Instead of nuclear, would you accept a mass of solar panels and some wind turbines?
and batteries, don't forget the batteries :)

You get around 150-200W per sq. meter in good sunlight. Your typical marine propulsion nuclear reactor produces a few hundred megawatt. Lets say 200MW, so 'all' you need is a million square meters of solar ... but actually that's wrong .. what you really need is around 3 million square meters because you have to generate enough power whilst the sun shines to keep going in the dark. That's around 32 million sq feet. The batteries, on the other hand, seem to be 'easy' ... you only need to store say 18 hours at 200MW = 3600MWhours = 3,600,000 kWh to keep you going at night and on dull days ..... and it looks as if 1 kWh per 1 kg of battery might be possible, so that's 3,600,000kg or only around 4,000 tons ... and this assumes you never sail too far north (or south) in the winter, since you need at least 8 hours of good sunlight per day ....

Now the Nimitz class carrier is around 1,000 feet long x 250 wide = 250,000 sq feet. So for 32 million sq ft you need to cover an area equal to 124 Nimitz class carriers in solar to get the same power as a nuclear generator ...

PS That's ignoring the wind generators. If you can guarantee some 'average' wind speed, then you can up the batteries and reduce the solar ... problem is, a couple of days of low wind speeds could then see you stuck at sea with flat batteries ...

Of course, what you REALLY need is back-up generators for dull no wind days :)
 
k in electric terms is kilowatt. 1000 watts.
M is megawatts. 1000 kilowatts.
A typical US house uses around 10,000 watts or 10 kilowatts (kW).
For what you want nuclear is just not needed.
Just use a CODAG system. Combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion. Add in a gas turbine or two for extra electrical generation.

You can get 40 foot containers with 2 625 kW generators in them for 1250 kW or 1.25 MW per container. You can fly those off the ship.

I'm focused on the ship to shore power capabilities for this post. The paper I linked to in post #5 was written back in spring of 2006, and as such is over 14, years old now, in the late fall of 2020, and more of a home research product than a professionally researched study. That being the case, I'm going to barrow from your post and extrapolate from there, so the following numbers are not arrived at by good, methodical, scientific research, but just a (poorly) educated guess.

In Mr Scott's paper, he used his own home's then current electric bill as the basis for a 'standard' american home using 1.7 kW, but for sake of argument, I'm going with your 10 kW for a typical home, and will further simplify the conversion as simply taking his electrical loads as being 1/5 current (even though 1.7 X 5 is not equal to 10, but rather 8.5, and 8.5 + 1.7 would give us 10.2, and a 6:1 ratio, but I like the 5:1 ratio instead, so hey) in respect to houses and hospitals. So a hospital would come in not at 2 MW, but as 10 MW each.

In Mr. Scott's paper he gives some numbers that I am going to take at face value, and these are the limits of the current electrical load's currently (or at least, current as of spring of '06) in use, and those were ~21 MW for shore to ship connections for a carrier, and 2.5 MW for the group used by smaller vessels, keeping in mind that no vessels at that time had been designed to provide their full power to shore installations, and that this is not what I am envisioning here in this thread, for my notional CVLN's.

Using the 40' containers mentioned above, each with 2 X 0.625 MW Generators, flying one such container ashore and emplacing them near where they can do the most good, a set of 8 such containers would be able to power up a single hospital (using the 10 MW guestimate from above), so we would need 8 containers worth of generators, all flown right to the local hospital. Next, we need fuel for each of these 16 generators, and the capacity of the fuel containers, the airlift capabilities of the choppers (how much weight, over the required distances), and the fuel usage of each of the 16 generators when operating for maximum power output. I don't have any of those numbers on hand at the moment, but just wanting to cover that there will need to be consideration given to these things, but my main concern right now is, just how much space is all this generator/fuel stuff going to take?

Let's take a 1 week period as a test case, so our airlifted generators, which require 8 40' containers for their own shipping, are then going to be working around the clock at maximum power output, and thus burning through their fuel supplies at the maximum rate per hour, what does a 168 hour fuel supply look like for each of these generators? How many additional 40 containers equivalent would this fuel supply take up? I leave that question up for anyone that would care to take the time and look it up and post back here, but I'm thinking that just the requirements for keeping a single hospital in electric power, for a single week, is going to account for far more of the space afloat than folks realise, and then it's already going to be a tradeoff between supplying electricity, or water/food/medicines...

CVLN's, on the other hand, don't need the capability to perform landing operations taking up space better used for DR supplies and equipment. Admittedly, Nuclear power would require the ability for the ship to "plug in" to the local power grid, and this would pose some problems of it's own. Namely, if the local power grid has a "plug" for ship to shore power input, it means prebuilding such things into your grid as a forethoughtful bit of prevention, and this would also require knowing that there was going to be at least the possibility of getting some DR ship to shore power. Without that, this would require the CVLN and/or her escorting/supporting vessels to be carrying not just the required components afloat, but also to be able to build them under less than ideal conditions.

I have yet to get a good number for the electrical backup generators at Fukushima, the ones that were supposed to power the reactor coolant systems, and whose failure led to the meltdowns in 2011. Varying numbers for the total output of the Fukushima power plant go from 4,700 MW to over 5,000 MW, but this isn't anything to do with the amount of power required to run the coolant system. My question for your consideration, gentle readers, is if the local power grid can send GW forth, then surely a shore "plug" could be built to tie into said grid, and allowing a ship to shore connection of at least 20 MW (the same as existing shore to ship carrier "plugs" in use back in 2006, five years BEFORE the 2011 disaster), might this not have been enough to prevent the meltdowns?
 
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