Reactor-generated steam drives not only the propulsion system but also the turbine generators that provide the electricity submarines require for their auxiliary systems. These systems furnish power for equipment cooling and the operation of weapon systems, for lighting and cooking, for climate control and water distillation. Air must be purified and oxygen generated as well, because the submerged submarine is a closed system and must maintain its own atmosphere.

Back to: Homepage / Operating a Nuclear Submarine / Submarine Power & Propulsion

Copyright © 2000, The National Museum of American History