The Maritime Administration
(MarAd) announced that a $4.1m contract has been awarded to the Norfolk Ship Repair Unit of BAE Systems (BAESY)
for dry-docking and maintenance on the National Historic Landmark vessel N.S. Savannah. The Savannah, the world’s first and the only U.S.-built nuclear-powered merchant ship, is currently moored at the BAE facility. All nuclear fuel was removed from the Savannah more than 30 years ago.
The major work to be done on the Savannah is a full surface preparation and coating of the ship’s exterior from top to bottom. Other work includes detailed inspection of the ship’s double bottom ballast tanks, repairs to the ship’s cargo hatch covers, and minor exterior repairs to ensure the weather tight integrity of the ship. The ship’s propeller will be removed during the drydocking as well. These repairs are in preparation for the eventual dismantlement and disposal of the remnants of the ship’s nuclear power plant.
The Savannah is expected to remain at the BAE facility into
the early part of 2008.