The U.S. Navy plans to build a number of new surface ships in the coming decades according to its most recent 30-year shipbuilding plan. All of the Navy's aircraft carriers are powered by nuclear reactors; its other surface combatants are powered by ...
engines that use conventional petroleum-based fuels. The Navy could save money on fuel in the future by purchasing additional nuclear-powered ships rather than conventionally powered ships. Those savings in fuel costs, however, would be offset by the additional up-front costs required for the procurement of nuclear-powered ships. This book examines the cost-effectiveness of nuclear power for navy surface ships and the issues and options for Congress.