Naval Reactors History Database (nrhdb)
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Naval Reactors (1)
Rickover, Hyman G.[X]
Shippingport Atomic Power Station (1)
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1Title:  Naval reactor program and Shippingport project Add
 Summary:  This Joint Committee on Atomic Energy hearing record includes lengthy testimony by Admiral Hyman Rickover, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion, on a range of issues, including the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the first nuclear power plant that supplied commercial power on a large scale. Rep. Melvin Price, chair of the Subcommittee on Research and Development, opens the hearing by praising Rickover and Naval Reactors: "The [Joint Committee] has been very favorably impressed by the excellent contributions the AEC has made to the civilian power program through the naval reactors program" (1). The hearing includes Rickover's update on naval nuclear propulsion. He describes some of the problems with the Seawolf's sodium-cooled reactor plant, and Naval Reactors' reactor development philosophy (with parallel development of thermal energy/pressurized water and intermediate range/sodium-cooled reactor plants). He also describes some of the other challenges faced by the program at its beginning, such as the need to support the development of a Zirconium industry to support naval nuclear propulsion. Regarding training generally and prototype training (which continues today) specifically, Rickover asserts that in the S1W prototype, "we have no better training facility in the Navy than we have there and it is absolutely essential for the future of nuclear power in the Navy that we train the people there, on a real plant, a live one, because we do not want any accidents to happen" [on nuclear-powered vessels in the fleet] (5). During the hearing, Admiral Rickover provides committee members with information on the PWR (Shippingport's pressurized water reactor plant). He notes that Naval Reactors' approach with the Shippingport plant is similar to that used with earlier submarine reactors and propulsion plants: "The Naval Reactors Branch approves the details of the design. We keep in constant touch with what the reactor designers, the machinery designers, the shipbuilders, and the construction contractors are doing" (26). Also, the document includes the testimony of John Simpson, the manager of the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, Westinghouse; he provides information on Bettis' support for both submarine plants and the Shippingport plant. In summary, the hearing describes how Naval Reactors supported the design and development of the civilian Shippingport plan and the common threads between Shippingport and the successful submarine reactor program. Clearly, a point of interest for committee members is the cost of design, development, and construction for the Shippingport plant, because of their interest in a successful commercial nuclear power industry in the United States. 
 Date:   1957 
 Subject(s):  Shippingport Atomic Power Station | Rickover, Hyman G. | Naval Reactors 
 Type:  Text 
 Format:  PDF 
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