The U. S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration will
consider Charleston, SC, as well as other cities, for federal contracts
for the decommissioning of the NS Savannah, and plans to discuss the project during a public meeting in Charleston, Wednesday, August 23.
Possible plans for the Savannah include making it into a museum.
The agency is looking to decommission the Savannah, originally launched July 21, 1959, during the Eisenhower Administration
world’s first nuclear-powered commercial vessel. It served as a museum from 1981 to 1994, and was moored at the James River Reserve Fleet
until recently, when it was taken to Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk for topside and interior repairs. The topside repairs and the decommissioning
bring closer the possibility that the Savannah will again serve as a museum. The ship’s active sailing life ended in 1971, at which time all nuclear
fuel was removed from the ship.
The decommissioning project includes removal of the ship’s empty reactor and other components. A successful bidder will have to provide
a secure berth conforming to local U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and submit to Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversight of decommissioning activities.
Prior to its decision on where the work will be done, Maritime Administration officials are conducting a public meeting on Wednesday,
August 23, 2006, in Club North in the North Charleston Coliseum, to discuss the proposed project. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and is
open to the public.
More information on the NS Savannah and the decommissioning project is available online at MARAD’s Web site, www.marad.dot.gov