Naval Reactors History Database (nrhdb)
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'Reactor safety' in subject 1960 in date [X]
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1Title:  Naval reactor program and Polaris missile system Add
 Summary:  This document is the public record of a Joint Committee on Atomic Energy hearing on the Polaris missile submarine program. The hearing was conducted on board the USS George Washington, the first ballistic missile submarine, which was powered by the already-proven S5W reactor. The record describes the integration of nuclear propulsion technology, proven in earlier submarines such as the Nautilus, and ballistic missile technology, under the oversight of Admiral William F. Raborn. Its introduction describes the Joint Committee's focus on reactor safety, mentioning the 1961 SL-1 accident at the Idaho National Laboratory and the importance of the design, construction, and operation standards created by Naval Reactors: "The committee also looks to the Navy to meet the Atomic Energy Commission's safety standards in all aspects of its nuclear propulsion program and to resist any pressures to force this new technology into an old system which may have sufficed for ordinary propulsion" (VI). In his testimony, Admiral Hyman Rickover (Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion) notes that the first three Polaris subs were originally designed as attack submarines and converted to ballistic missile submarines. (All of these submarines were powered by the S5W reactor plant.) Rickover describes the unique aspects of the Naval Reactors program (for example, its close collaboration with Atomic Energy Commission laboratories and land prototypes in plant testing). The document includes correspondence between the Navy, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the AEC's Safeguards Committee, and the congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. The Joint Committee's ongoing and strong support of Admiral Rickover and the Naval Reactors program is reflected in an opening letter from its chair and ranking member to the Secretary of the Navy (pages 10 and 11 of the hearing document). 
 Date:  09 April 1960 
 Subject(s):  S5W | Reactor safety | Rickover, Hyman G. | Naval Reactors 
 Type:  Text 
 Format:  PDF 
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