US Navy’s 1st nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is no longer nuclear

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division has completed the inactivation of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 65).

As part of a process that began in 2013, more than 1,000 shipbuilders defueled Enterprise’s eight nuclear reactors, inactivated its propulsion systems and prepared its hull for final tow.

Newport News Shipbuilding completed the inactivation base work in December 2017, and the government contracting office review and certification of the paperwork has just been completed.

As informed, the ship will remain at Newport News to complete post-inactivation work to prepare it for storage in the Hampton Roads area until a disposal plan is determined by the US Navy.

“With all of the lessons we learned from inactivating the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in our company’s 130-year history, we look forward to bringing that knowledge to the inactivation of the Nimitz class of aircraft carriers, beginning with CVN 68 in 2025,” Chris Miner, Newport News’ vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs, commented.

Built by Newport News shipbuilders and christened in September 1960, Enterprise provided a record 51 consecutive years of service to the navy. The only one of its class, the aircraft carrier aided in the Cuban Missile Crisis and operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, as well as naval maritime security operations.

The ship was decommissioned on February 3, 2017.

The shipbuilding company is currently performing advance construction on the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80), the ninth US Navy ship to bear this name. Award of the CVN 80 detail design and construction contract is anticipated in 2018.

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