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MARAD Savannah Program

U.S. Maritime Administration, N.S. Savannah Program

Manager, Nuclear Ship Savannah Programs reporting to the Associate Administrator for National Security and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation's Maritime Administrator. Mr Koehler also serves as a Senior Technical Advisor, N.S. Savannah and acts as the agency's designated licensee to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Erhard is a 1987 graduate of the State University of New York Maritime College, with a BE degree in Naval Architecture. After serving as a structural and field-support engineer at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, he joined the Maritime Administration (MARAD) Office of Ship Operations in Washington, DC. An avid amateur maritime historian, Erhard jumped at the assignment in late 1992 to oversee the Savannah's return to MARAD custody from Patriots Point and her subsequent drydocking at Sparrows Point.

In 2004 Erhard succeeded to MARAD's senior management position for the N.S. Savannah with responsibility for all activities relating to the ship. To support this effort, he formed the Savannah Technical Staff (STS) group in 2005. The STS is now the organizational unit within MARAD that manages all program activities including the ship's custody, husbanding, routine radiological surveillance and monitoring; the nuclear decommissioning project; and the Savannah historic preservation program.

MARAD also has in place a number of contracts and interagency agreements that provide core nuclear competencies; radiological protection; and independent expertise in safety, environmental and decommissioning. The organizations providing these services are considered part of the extended STS and include:
  • Sayres and Associates – License Support Services.
  • Radiation Safety & Control Services – Radiological protection and emergency radiological response.
  • Enercon - Independent radiological sampling and analysis.
  • Dept of Transportation, Volpe Center - Marine/occupational safety and health, and environmental protection services.
  • Dept of Energy, Argonne National Lab – Decommissioning expertise.

Current Status -
The Savannah is presently located in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, under a long-term lay berth contract with Canton Marine Terminals. The Savannah Technical Staff of the Office of Ship Disposal manages the activities onboard the ship, with strong emphasis on licensed facility operations and pre-decommissioning planning. The Maritime Administration intends to maintain the Savannah in protective storage for some years into the future; however, under current law and regulation the decommissioning process must be completed and the Savannah’s operating license terminated no later than December 2031.

Website Link: MARAD Savannah Programs

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