NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Navy is holding a public meeting next week to discuss the former aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.
Navy officials said in a news release members of the public can learn about an environmental impact analysis that’s being prepared for the disposal of the carrier, including its naval reactor plants.
Enterprise (CVN-65), which was the Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was decommissioned in 2017 after more than 50 years of service. It was built with eight naval reactor plants housed aboard the ship.
The Navy said the nuclear fuel was removed from those reactor plants as a part of the decommissioning process.
A government report last year found the cost to dismantle the decommissioned carrier may exceed $1 billion.
According to a website for the project, the Navy found disposal alternatives that “may be more cost-effective and better utilize available resources within the Navy’s public shipyards.”
Three alternative’s are being considered for the former carrier’s disposal, including a “no action alternative” where the Enterprise would be be kept in waterborne storage. This would require periodic maintenance.
One of the alternatives calls for the former carrier to be taken apart at one of three dismantlement facilities across the country. In this scenario, the ship’s eight reactor plants would be cut into segments and packaged into several hundred small containers before it is disposed.
The two other alternatives call for the former Enterprise to be partially taken apart at a commercial disposal facility, before the rest of the ship containing the reactor compartments is taken to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, for processing and disposal.
The news release said an open house poster session will be held Tuesday, June 18, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Denbigh Community Center in Newport News.
Comments about the project can be submitted at this link.