ISSN 2083-6473
ISSN 2083-6481 (electronic version)




Associate Editor
Prof. Tomasz Neumann

Published by
TransNav, Faculty of Navigation
Gdynia Maritime University
3, John Paul II Avenue
81-345 Gdynia, POLAND
www http://www.transnav.eu
e-mail transnav@umg.edu.pl
A Tale of Two Disruptive Maritime Technologies: Nuclear Propulsion and Autonomy
1 Gdynia Maritime University, Gdynia, Poland
ABSTRACT: Modern industries often attempt to implement innovations that have a disruptive potential. In shipping, this included a largely unsuccessful introduction of nuclear propulsion in late 20th century, among other concepts. Nowadays, introduction of increased autonomy is being associated with prospects of various industry-wide benefits, but is also burdened with serious obstacles. The objective of this study is to investigate reasons behind the failure of nuclear-powered merchant ships introduction and whether lessons learnt from it can be applied to the prospective implementation of autonomous merchant ships. It advocates that three aspects of maritime technology are crucial for its successful implementation: perceived level of safety, economical feasibility, and legal setup.
Akbar, Abeera, Anna K. A. Aasen, Mohamed Kais Msakni, Kjetil Fagerholt, Elizabeth Lindstad, and Frank Meisel. 2021. “An Economic Analysis of Introducing Autonomous Ships in a Short‐sea Liner Shipping Network.” International Transactions in Operational Research 28 (4): 1740–64. - doi:10.1111/itor.12788
Allen, Craig H. 2012. “The Seabots Are Coming Here: Should They Be Treated as Vessels?” Journal of Navigation 65 (4): 749–52. - doi:10.1017/S0373463312000197
Bačkalov, Igor. 2020. “Safety of Autonomous Inland Vessels: An Analysis of Regulatory Barriers in the Present Technical Standards in Europe.” Safety Science 128 (October 2018). - doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2020.104763
Bainbridge, Lisanne. 1983. “Ironies of Automation.” Automatica 19 (6): 775–79. - doi:10.1016/0005-1098(83)90046-8
Bergström, M, S Hirdaris, O A Valdez Banda, P Kujala, and O Sormunen. 2018. “Towards the Unmanned Ship Code.” In Marine Design XIII, edited by Pentti Kujala, 881–86. Helsinki: Taylor & Francis Group.
Bogusławski, Krzysztof, Mateusz Gil, Jan Nasur, and Krzysztof Wróbel. 2022. “Implications of Autonomous Shipping for Maritime Education and Training: The Cadet’s Perspective.” Maritime Economics & Logistics 24 (2): 327–43. - doi:10.1057/s41278-022-00217-x
Bogusławski, Krzysztof, Jan Nasur, Jie Li, Mateusz Gil, Krzysztof Wróbel, and Floris Goerlandt. 2022. “A Cross-Domain Scientometric Analysis of Situational Awareness of Autonomous Vehicles With Focus on the Maritime Domain.” IEEE Access 10: 50047–61. - doi:10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3174097
Bolbot, Victor, Gerasimos Theotokatos, and Lars Andreas Wennersberg. 2022. “A Method to Identify and Rank Objects and Hazardous Interactions Affecting Autonomous Ships Navigation.” Journal of Navigation, May, 1–22. - doi:10.1017/S0373463322000121
Bureau Veritas. 2019. “Guidelines for Autonomous Shipping.” Vol. NI 641 DT. Paris.
Carlton, J S, R Smart, and V Jenkins. 2011. “The Nuclear Propulsion of Merchant Ships: Aspects of Engineering, Science and Technology.” Journal of Marine Engineering & Technology 10 (2): 47–59. - doi:10.1080/20464177.2011.11020247
Chang, Yen Chiang, Chao Zhang, and Nannan Wang. 2020. “The International Legal Status of the Unmanned Maritime Vehicles.” Marine Policy 113 (January): 103830. - doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2020.103830
Dade, Thomas B., and Warren F. Witzig. 1974. “Container Ships: Oil Fueled versus Nuclear Powered.” Nuclear Technology 22 (2): 196–223. - doi:10.13182/NT74-A31403
Danish Maritime Authority. 2017. “Analysis of Regulatory Barriers To the Use of Autonomous Ships.” Copenhagen.
DNV-GL. 2018. “Autonomous and Remotely Operated Ships - Class Guideline.” Høvik.
Ebasco Services Inc. 1960. “NS Savannah Nuclear Merchant Ship Design Review Summary Report.” New York, NY. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/4027498.
Edwards, J. 1979. “Report on the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency/International Atomic Energy Agence Symposium on the Safety of Nuclear Ships, Hamburg, 5-9 December 1977.” Annals of Nuclear Energy 6: 25–58. - doi:10.1016/0306-4549(79)90092-6
Ellwood, Paul, Ceri Williams, and John Egan. 2022. “Crossing the Valley of Death: Five Underlying Innovation Processes.” Technovation 109 (January): 102162. - doi:10.1016/j.technovation.2020.102162
Fan, Cunlong, Jakub Montewka, and Di Zhang. 2022. “A Risk Comparison Framework for Autonomous Ships Navigation.” Reliability Engineering & System Safety, July, 108709. - doi:10.1016/j.ress.2022.108709
Folsom, R G, H A Ohlgren, J G Lewis, and M E Weech. 1955. “Nuclear Propulsion of Merchant Ships - an Engineering Summary.” Ann Arbor.
Freire, Luciano Ondir, and Delvonei Alves de Andrade. 2015. “Historic Survey on Nuclear Merchant Ships.” Nuclear Engineering and Design 293 (November): 176–86. - doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2015.07.031
Gabbar, Hossam A., Md. Ibrahim Adham, and Muhammad R. Abdussami. 2021. “Optimal Planning of Integrated Nuclear-Renewable Energy System for Marine Ships Using Artificial Intelligence Algorithm.” Energies 14 (11): 3188. - doi:10.3390/en14113188
Goerlandt, Floris. 2020. “Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships from a Risk Governance Perspective: Interpretation and Implications.” Safety Science 128 (February): 104758. - doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2020.104758
Gravina, Jonathan, James Blake, Ajit Shenoi, Stephen R. Turnock, and Spyros Hirdaris. 2012. “Concepts for a Modular Nuclear Powered Containership.” In NAV International Conference on Ship and Shipping Research. Naples.
Hannaford, Elspeth, Pieter Maes, and Edwin Van Hassel. 2022. “Autonomous Ships and the Collision Avoidance Regulations: A Licensed Deck Officer Survey.” WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, no. 0123456789 (May). - doi:10.1007/s13437-022-00269-z
Hardy, Michael. 1963. “The Liability of Operators of Nuclear Ships.” The International and Comparative Law Quarterly 12 (3): 778–88. - doi:10.1093/iclqaj/12.3.778
Hasan, Sabrina. 2022. “Analysing the Definition of ‘Ship’ to Facilitate Marine Autonomous Surface Ships as Ship under the Law of the Sea.” Australian Journal of Maritime & Ocean Affairs 0 (0): 1–16. - doi:10.1080/18366503.2022.2065115
Hirdaris, S.E., Y.F. Cheng, P. Shallcross, J. Bonafoux, D. Carlson, B. Prince, and G.A. Sarris. 2014. “Considerations on the Potential Use of Nuclear Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Technology for Merchant Marine Propulsion.” Ocean Engineering 79 (March): 101–30. - doi:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2013.10.015
Hogg, Trudi, and Samrat Ghosh. 2016. “Autonomous Merchant Vessels: Examination of Factors That Impact the Effective Implementation of Unmanned Ships.” Australian Journal of Maritime & Ocean Affairs 8 (3): 206–22. - doi:10.1080/18366503.2016.1229244
IAEA. 1968. “Safety Considerations in the Use of Ports and Approaches by Nuclear Merchant Ships.” Vienna. https://inis.iaea.org/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/43/119/43119051.pdf.
———. 2004. “50 Years of Nuclear Energy.” Vienna. https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/gc/gc48inf-4-att3_en.pdf.
IMO. 1981. Code of Safety for Nuclear Merchant Ships. London.
———. 2022. “Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 105), 20-29 April 2022.” 2022. https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/MeetingSummaries/Pages/MSC-105th-session.aspx.
IMO MSC. 2019. Regulatory Scoping Exercise for the Use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships. London: IMO MSC.
Kari, Raheleh, and Martin Steinert. 2021. “Human Factor Issues in Remote Ship Operations: Lesson Learned by Studying Different Domains.” Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9 (4): 385. - doi:10.3390/jmse9040385
Karlis, Thanasis. 2018. “Maritime Law Issues Related to the Operation of Unmanned Autonomous Cargo Ships.” WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs 17 (1): 119–28. - doi:10.1007/s13437-018-0135-6
Kennard, Alice, Pengfei Zhang, and Sriram Rajagopal. 2022. “Technology and Training: How Will Deck Officers Transition to Operating Autonomous and Remote-Controlled Vessels?” Marine Policy 146 (1): 105326. - doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2022.105326
Kim, Mingyu, Tae-hwan Joung, Byongug Jeong, and Han-seon Park. 2020. “Autonomous Shipping and Its Impact on Regulations, Technologies, and Industries.” Journal of International Maritime Safety, Environmental Affairs, and Shipping, June. - doi:10.1080/25725084.2020.1779427
Klerk, Yvette de, Michael Ekow Manuel, and Momoko Kitada. 2021. “Scenario Planning for an Autonomous Future: A Comparative Analysis of National Preparedness of Selected Countries.” Marine Policy 127 (January): 104428. - doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104428
Kongsberg. 2017. “YARA and KONGSBERG Enter into Partnership to Build World’s First Autonomous and Zero Emissions Ship.” 2017. https://www.km.kongsberg.com/ks/web/nokbg0238.nsf/AllWeb/98A8C576AEFC85AFC125811A0037F6C4?OpenDocument.
Konz, Peider. 1963. “The 1962 Brussels Convention on the Liability of Operators of Nuclear Ships.” The American Journal of International Law 57 (1): 100–111. - doi:10.1017/S0002930000129239
Kooij, C, A A Kana, and R G Hekkenberg. 2021. “A Task-Based Analysis of the Economic Viability of Low-Manned and Unmanned Cargo Ship Concepts.” Ocean Engineering 242 (May): 110111. - doi:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2021.110111
Kretschmann, Lutz, Hans-christoph Burmeister, and Carlos Jahn. 2017. “Analyzing the Economic Benefit of Unmanned Autonomous Ships: An Exploratory Cost-Comparison between an Autonomous and a Conventional Bulk Carrier.” Research in Transportation Business & Management 25 (April): 76–86. - doi:10.1016/j.rtbm.2017.06.002
Kretschmann, Lutz, Hugh Mcdowell, Ørnulf Jan Rødseth, Bénédicte Sage Fuller, Helen Noble, and Jeffrey Horahan. 2015. “Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks - Quantitative Assessment.” http://www.unmanned-ship.org/munin/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/MUNIN-D9-3-Quantitative-assessment-CML-final.pdf.
Kutsuna, Koji, Hideyuki Ando, Takuya Nakashima, Satoru Kuwahara, and Shinya Nakamura. 2019. “NYK’s Approach for Autonomous Navigation – Structure of Action Planning System and Demonstration Experiments.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1357 (October): 012013. - doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1357/1/012013
Lowe, A V. 1977. “The Right of Entry into Maritime Ports in International Law.” San Diego Law Review 14 (3): 597–622.
Lutzhoft, M, A Hynnekleiv, J V Earthy, and E S Petersen. 2019. “Human-Centred Maritime Autonomy - An Ethnography of the Future.” In Proceeding of MTEC/ICMASS 2019. Vol. 1357. Trondheim. - doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1357/1/012032
Mallam, Steven C., Salman Nazir, and Amit Sharma. 2020. “The Human Element in Future Maritime Operations – Perceived Impact of Autonomous Shipping.” Ergonomics 63 (3): 334–45. - doi:10.1080/00140139.2019.1659995
Mannov, Adrienne, Tiago Fonseca, Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs, and Dong-wook Song. 2019. “Autonomous Ships: A New Paradigm for Norwegian Shipping.” - doi:10.21677/itf.20190715
Maritime Executive. 2021. “An Early Look at ASKO’s Autonomous Freight Ferries.” 2021. https://maritime-executive.com/article/an-early-look-at-asko-s-autonomous-freight-ferry.
———. 2022. “Mayflower Autonomous Ship Completed Historic Atlantic Crossing.” 2022. https://maritime-executive.com/article/mayflower-autonomous-ship-completes-historic-atlantic-crossing.
Nakao, Masayuki. 1992. “Radiation Leaks from Nuclear Power Ship ‘Mutsu.’” Tokyo.
Namikawa, Shunichiro, Peter Hoffmann, Morten Maerli, and Erik Brodin. 2011. “Nuclear Powered Ships - Findings from a Feasibility Study.”
Nawrot, Justyna, and Zuzanna Pepłowska-Dąbrowska. 2019. “Revolution or Evolution? Challenges Posed by Autonomous Vessels for the National and International Legal Framework.” Comparative Law Review 25 (December): 239–55. - doi:10.12775/CLR.2019.008
NYT. 1970. “Japan’s First Computer-Run Large Tanker Ends Maiden Trip,” 1970.
Ondir Freire, Luciano, and Delvonei Alves de Andrade. 2019. “Economically Feasible Mobile Nuclear Power Plant for Merchant Ships and Remote Clients.” Nuclear Technology 205 (6): 766–80. - doi:10.1080/00295450.2018.1546067
Porathe, T, Å Hoem, and S Johnsen. 2018. “At Least as Safe as Manned Shipping? Autonomous Shipping, Safety and ‘Human Error.’” In Safety and Reliability–Safe Societies in a Changing World. Proceedings of ESREL 2018, edited by Stein Haugen, 417–25. Trondheim. - doi:10.1201/9781351174664-52
Reistad, Ole, Morten Bremer Mærli, and Nils Bøhmer. 2005. “RUSSIAN NAVAL NUCLEAR FUEL AND REACTORS.” The Nonproliferation Review 12 (1): 163–97. - doi:10.1080/10736700500209171
Rødseth, Ørnulf Jan, and Hans-Chritoph Burmeister. 2012. “Developments toward the Unmanned Ship.” In Proceedings of International Symposium Information on Ships–ISIS. Hamburg. http://www.unmanned-ship.org/munin/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Rødseth-Burmeister-2012-Developments-toward-the-unmanned-ship.pdf.
Sandvik, Håkon Osland, David Sjödin, Thomas Brekke, and Vinit Parida. 2021. “Ihnerent Paradoxes in the Shift to Autonomous Solutions Provision: A Multilevel Investigation of the Shipping Industry.” Service Business, no. 0123456789. - doi:10.1007/s11628-021-00458-5
Schøyen, Halvor, and Kenn Steger-Jensen. 2017. “Nuclear Propulsion in Ocean Merchant Shipping: The Role of Historical Experiments to Gain Insight into Possible Future Applications.” Journal of Cleaner Production 169 (December): 152–60. - doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.05.163
Slovic, Paul. 1987. “Perception of Risk.” Science 236 (4799): 280–85. - doi:10.1126/science.3563507
Strupczewski, A. 2003. “Accident Risks in Nuclear-Power Plants.” Applied Energy 75 (1–2): 79–86. - doi:10.1016/S0306-2619(03)00021-7
Suri, Mayank, and Krzysztof Wróbel. 2022. “Identifying Factors Affecting Salvage Rewards of Crewless Vessels — Lessons from a Case Study.” WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs 21 (2): 213–32. - doi:10.1007/s13437-022-00276-0
Tesla, Nikola. 1898. Method of and apparatus for controlling mechanism of moving vessels or vehicles. 613809, issued 1898.
Tsvetkova, Anastasia, and Magnus Hellström. 2022. “Creating Value through Autonomous Shipping: An Ecosystem Perspective.” Maritime Economics & Logistics 24 (2): 255–77. - doi:10.1057/s41278-022-00216-y
Ulken, D, H Bianchi, and H Kühl. 1972. “Technical Operation Experiences of the NS Otto Hahn and Problems of Port Entry.” In Symposium on Nuclear Ships. Rio de Janeiro.
UNCTAD. 2020. Review of Maritime Transport 2020. Geneva: United Nations Publications.
Veal, Robert, Michael Tsimplis, and Andrew Serdyc. 2019. “The Legal Status and Operation of Unmanned Maritime Vehicles.” Ocean Development and International Law 50 (1): 23–48. - doi:10.1080/00908320.2018.1502500
Wahlström, Mikael, Jaakko Hakulinen, Hannu Karvonen, and Iiro Lindborg. 2015. “Human Factors Challenges in Unmanned Ship Operations – Insights from Other Domains.” In 6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, 3:1038–45. Elsevier B.V. - doi:10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.167
Wasilewski, Wiesław, Katarzyna Wolak, and Magdalena Zaraś. 2021. “Autonomous Shipping. The Future of the Maritime Industry?” Zeszyty Naukowe Małopolskiej Wyższej Szkoły Ekonomicznej w Tarnowie 51 (3): 155–63. - doi:10.25944/znmwse.2021.03.155163
Wright, R. Glenn. 2020. Unmanned and Autonomous Ships - An Overview of MASS. Abingdon: Routledge. - doi:10.1201/9780429450655
Wróbel, Krzysztof. 2021. “Searching for the Origins of the Myth: 80% Human Error Impact on Maritime Safety.” Reliability Engineering & System Safety 216 (December): 107942. - doi:10.1016/j.ress.2021.107942
Wróbel, Krzysztof, Mateusz Gil, Przemysław Krata, Karol Olszewski, and Jakub Montewka. 2021. “On the Use of Leading Safety Indicators in Maritime and Their Feasibility for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships.” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part O: Journal of Risk and Reliability, July, 1748006X2110276. - doi:10.1177/1748006X211027689
Wróbel, Krzysztof, Mateusz Gil, and Jakub Montewka. 2020. “Identifying Research Directions of a Remotely-Controlled Merchant Ship by Revisiting Her System-Theoretic Safety Control Structure.” Safety Science 129 (September): 104797. - doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2020.104797
Wróbel, Krzysztof, Jakub Montewka, and Pentti Kujala. 2017. “Towards the Assessment of Potential Impact of Unmanned Vessels on Maritime Transportation Safety.” Reliability Engineering & System Safety 165: 155–69. - doi:10.1016/j.ress.2017.03.029
Ziajka-Poznańska, Ewelina, and Jakub Montewka. 2021. “Costs and Benefits of Autonomous Shipping—A Literature Review.” Applied Sciences 11 (10): 4553. - doi:10.3390/app11104553
Атомфлот. n.d. “АТОМНЫЙ КОНТЕЙНЕРОВОЗ «СЕВМОРПУТЬ».” Accessed July 8, 2022. http://www.rosatomflot.ru/flot/atomnyy-lihterovoz-sevmorput/.
Citation note:
Wróbel K.: A Tale of Two Disruptive Maritime Technologies: Nuclear Propulsion and Autonomy. TransNav, the International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, Vol. 16, No. 4, doi:10.12716/1001.16.04.15, pp. 733-741, 2022
Authors in other databases:

Other publications of authors:

File downloaded 49 times

Important: TransNav.eu cookie usage
The TransNav.eu website uses certain cookies. A cookie is a text-only string of information that the TransNav.EU website transfers to the cookie file of the browser on your computer. Cookies allow the TransNav.eu website to perform properly and remember your browsing history. Cookies also help a website to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. Cookies alone cannot be used to identify you.
Akceptuję pliki cookies z tej strony