Nuclear container ships, new maglev plans and parking for SUVs in Paris are the topics of this week’s transportation news roundup.
Nuclear container ships
A Chinese shipyard has unveiled a design for a new container ship powered by a nuclear reactor instead of conventional diesel. The ship is designed to carry 24,000 standard containers (TEU), according to the Eurasian Times. This capacity would put it on par with the largest container ships plying the oceans today.
Until now, nuclear-powered ships have been the domain of military vessels and icebreakers. In the 1960s, there were some experiments with nuclear-powered merchant ships, such as the Otto Hahn. These proved to be uneconomical due to high costs. Today, the equation may be different, as the shipping sector needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and alternatives to diesel are being investigated.
I am curious to see if this concept will make it to the market, as there is no infrastructure for nuclear ships in civilian harbors yet, and this would have to be created on a global scale.
Maglev for Nuremberg
Two weeks ago, I reported that the city of Berlin was considering building a maglev train using the Transport System Bögl (TSB) to improve public transportation in the German capital. Now, Markus Söder, Prime Minister of Bavaria, has announced plans to build a maglev train in Nuremberg, Bavaria, as heise.de reports. I wonder if these plans will materialize, as Nuremberg happens to be Mr. Söder’s hometown, and maybe he is just announcing these plans to appease his supporters back home.
Paris to raise parking fees for SUVs
The city of Paris, France, plans to raise parking fees for SUVs to 18€ per hour, according to heise.de. The aim is to discourage SUVs from entering the city center, as they take up more of the scarce space and are also more dangerous to pedestrians than smaller cars.
Paris seems really determined to reduce the number of cars in the city center by taking away space for cars. I expect this to work much better than other approaches like carsharing to reduce car traffic in the center.