Imagine being trapped in a metal tube with limited air, water, and food for months at a time. This is the reality for crew members on nuclear submarines. But how do they survive for so long without fresh air, water, and nourishment?

Submarines rely on a few sources for oxygen and air. Oxygen generators produce oxygen through water electrolysis, while pressurized tanks and oxygen canisters release oxygen through a chemical reaction. In case of an emergency, submarines have large oxygen tanks that can be filled quickly. The air inside the submarine has a lower oxygen concentration than on land, reducing the risk of fires.

Getting rid of carbon dioxide is a challenge. Submarines use amines, chemicals that absorb CO2 when cold and release it when heated. Waste CO2 is disposed of in the ocean when possible. While amines have a strong smell, many submariners say they get used to it. Living quarters are cramped and poorly ventilated, with smells from cooking, hydraulic oil, amines, and trash filling the air.

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Submarines collect water from the ocean or use desalination machines to remove salt from seawater. Food is stored in cans, dried, or frozen, and meals are prepared in a small kitchen. Water is recycled and reused to conserve resources.

The environment inside a submarine is tightly controlled and monitored. With no plants to recycle CO2, advanced technologies are used to sustain life. Crew members must adapt to a unique set of smells and living conditions. While it’s possible to survive without water for days, lack of oxygen can be fatal within minutes.

Life on a nuclear submarine is challenging, but crew members rely on advanced technologies and careful resource management to survive for months underwater….S££ MOR£

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