The Nuclear Reactor on the U.S. Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier


U.S. Gerald R. Ford. Photo Source: (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)

The nuclear reactors inside of the U.S. Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier can power the engines of the ship for over 20 years without stopping. Using the power being produced by the two nuclear reactors, the aircraft carrier can reach a top speed of 30 knots which is quite fast for how large of a ship it is. The reason the nuclear reactors found inside this ship are so powerful is that they are redesigned models compared to the older A4W reactors found on the Nimitz class carriers. The reactors produce close to 3 times the power the older A4W reactors produced. Also, the aircraft carrier has a unit cost 12.9 billion making it one of the most expensive ships ever.

This relates to engineering because engineers had to figure out a way to fit two nuclear reactors inside a ship and they also had to figure out how to block the radiation from harming humans, sea animals, and the electronics.

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