Re: And All Who Sail In Her
The problem with nuclear propulsion was cost, complexity and manning requirements. Since they are using F35 there is no need for steam for catapults [the US are going down the route of electromagnetic catapults].
Cost was probably the biggest issue - whilst they are eye-wateringly expensive as they stand, if we had gone down the nuclear route there would only have been one. Two carriers offer much more flexibility than a single hull [ask the French...]
It's hard enough getting Nuclear qualified engineering staff for the underwater brethren - add two Nuclear carriers on top of that and it's a no-go. Also some friendly ports [e.g. New Zealand] aren't so friendly if nuclear boats are asking to come alongside.
From that what I gather the whole nuclear propulsion question was seriously considered - the UK has the technology to do it - but was ruled out early on as just not a good choice.
The US supercarriers are impressive but apparently envious glances are being stolen from across the pond at the non-nuclear option plus the very high levels of automation on the QE class carriers means the manning requirements are much, much lower than the US - the latter is especially relevant as the US Navy tends to train a sailor for one job only whereas the RN has always worked on the basis of multi-skilling the crew e.g. a steward or chef would also be first-aid trained and act as a medic or damage control crew member.
It's really great to see the Senior Service sailing the world's oceans again with a proper maritime strike force - suitable for putting the frighteners on uppity foreign types, annoying the French [which I'd suggest has ALWAYS been the purpose of the RN] and delivering exceptional cocktail parties.