Name That Ship

That handsome ship is the U.S.Nuclear Ship Savannah. She is, or WAS, a cargo-
passenger ship that sailed over 40 years ago during the time of America’s
exploration of atomic energy for peacetime applications. If you’re lucky enough to find
that dusty issue of the 1962 National Geographic featuring the
NS Savannah on the
cover, you could read more about her.

Today, the
Savannah lies anchored in one of MARAD’s designated locations (that's if
it hasn't been moved yet... MARAD has been sending a lot of these ships to the
breakers torch at a brisk pace) The ships in these "ghost fleets" lie in places like
James River, Virginia and other government anchorages. Although almost half a
century has passed since steam passed through Savannah’s turbines, something
about her appearance still seems to beckon the future. Whether it's the
unconventionally swept back cargo handling gear, clean uncluttered lines or the
streamlined superstructure with its dummy stack. These are the handiwork of her
designer, the talented naval architect George Sharpe.



















However, the thing that TRULY set
Savannah apart from other ships of her day was
the fact that she was nuclear powered. That attribute also contributed to her modern
looks, because the superstructure had to sit abaft of the reactor containment spaces
to permit access and refueling.

Although
Savannah was light years ahead of the typical ships of the day with their
Babcock and Wilcox water tube boilers, her commercial viability was another matter.
Her crew required special training, her nuclear plant raised safety concerns, and
refuelings and plant overhauls would have been more costly than with fossil-fired
plants of comparable horsepower.

Although she lies still today, we can only think of how impressive it was for
Savannah to be underway on nuclear power, almost a half century ago.

Savannah Specifications:

Type
Length (Overall)
Beam (Molded)
Draft (Loaded)
Displacement (Loaded)
Cargo Capacity
Passengers
Operating Personnel
Officers
Crew
Reactor Type
Reactor Fuel
Reactor Rating
Speed

Source: U.S. Maritime Administration


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Name That Ship
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Single Screw
595’ 6”
78’
29.5’
21,800 tons (24,416 short tons)
10,000 tons (11,200 short tons)
60

25
85
Pressurized water
Uranium Oxide (4% enriched U-235)
74 MW (million watts)
21 knots (25 mph)