APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Historic nuclear ship NS SAVANNAH about to enter a new phase

Here's a press release from the NS SAVANNAH Association, Inc. on a recent significant development regarding the status of the historic ship:


February 16, 2016
For Immediate Release
            The NS SAVANNAH ASSOCIATION, INC. (hereafter, “NSSA”) has been informed that the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request submitted by the Maritime Administration includes a line item requesting $8 million “to begin the decommissioning process, including the dismantlement and decontamination of the defueled nuclear power plant on board the former nuclear ship NS SAVANNAH.”  The request also includes $3 million “to maintain the vessel in protective storage.”
            This step marks the first time since 2006 that a real chance exists that the ship will move forward with dismantling and decontaminating all portions of the power plant and auxiliary spaces, leaving the ship eventually roughly 7 years down the road with the nuclear license terminated, and thus no longer under any NRC obligations.
            It must be noted that the present plans for dismantling the nuclear plant do not include damaging or removing any other significant structures, or historic spaces, on board the ship.  We will be presenting more detailed information on the work to be done in the coming days.
            NS SAVANNAH holds three significant recognitions: The National Park Service declared the ship a Historic Landmark in 1991, and two professional organizations (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Nuclear Society) have recognized the ship as an International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark and a Nuclear Engineering Landmark, respectively.  The ship is the sole physical remainder of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous “Atoms for Peace” program intended to spread the economic, commercial use of nuclear technologies.  It is significant to note that the Maritime Administration has stated that the desired outcome of the program is the eventual preservation of the ship.
            NSSA will play a vital role in the preservation of the ship, and according to Erhard Koehler (Manager, NS SAVANNAH Programs for MARAD) already has played one.  Koehler told the NSSA Board of Directors in an email that “MARAD could not have articulated the case for SAVANNAH without the public presence we have in Baltimore, and the good work of NSSA in making the ship shine.  Your help will be needed as we go forward, and I look forward to working with you each step of the way.” 


There will be more details to come.  See the NSSA site here:  ns-savannah.org  

3 PM Eastern
February 16, 2016