Step aboard the nuclear-powered passenger ship of tomorrow (from 1959)

The NS Savannah, the world’s only nuclear-powered cruise ship, sits in the Port of Baltimore, showcasing the world’s first and only passenger-oriented nuclear vessel.

History lesson: The Savannah was built in the 1950s under the “Atoms for Peace” program, aiming to demonstrate the potential of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
* Launched in 1959, its 74-megawatt nuclear reactor was powered up in 1961.
* The ship carried passengers from 1962 to 1965 and traveled to 45 foreign ports in 26 countries.

Economically Infeasible: Despite its innovative concept, the Savannah was never economically viable, requiring special fuel-handling facilities and expensive decommissioning processes.
* The ship’s reactor was shut down in the early 1970s after fulfilling its purpose of demonstrating nuclear energy’s peaceful potential.

Future preservation: The decommissioning of the ship’s nuclear components began in 2017 and is expected to be completed in the next two years, with hopes that it will be preserved as a historical artifact.

View original article on NPR

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