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N.S. Savannah

The Nuclear Ship Savannah ...

In 1955, President of the United States Dwight Eisenhower proposed building a nuclear-powered merchant ship as a showcase for his "Atoms for Peace" initiative. Her keel was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey. Her nuclear reactor was manufactured by Babcock and Wilcox. The N/S SAVANNAH, named for SS Savannah, was the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, built at a cost of $46.9 million, including a $28.3 million nuclear reactor and fuel core. The SAVANNAH is one of only four nuclear-powered cargo ships ever built. She was christened by U.S. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower at the ship's launching on July 21, 1959.

Interesting Facts ...

  • She produced nearly $12,000,000 in revenue, real money back then.
  • She sailed over 450,000 miles in her five years of merchant service (1965 to 1970).
  • She required a crew of more than 100 mariners.
  • She cost $46,900,000 ($18,600,000 for the ship, and $28,300,000 for the nuclear core) when built in 1959
  • The Army considered using her as a power plant to be used during national emergencies.



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