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1Title:  Atoms for peace and war: A history of the United States Atomic Energy Commission Add
 Chapter title:  "Nuclear power for the market place" 
 Summary:  The authors of this AEC official history, Richard Hewlett and Jack Holl, note the starting point: "in the case of nuclear power...the entire technology was confined within the federal government in 1953" (VII-1). This fact underscores the central leadership role that the AEC was required to take to launch a commercial nuclear power industry in the United States. They note that the success of the S1W (or Mark I) reactor, which began full-power operations in mid-1953, "convinced government officials and members of the Joint Committee [on Atomic Energy] that nuclear power was a reality" (VII-4). Rickover's success with the S1W led the AEC to assign the Naval Reactors organization with the responsibility of overseeing the design and construction of the first commercial power reactor, which became the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. Like the S1W and the Nautilus shipyard plant, the Shippingport reactor was a pressurized water reactor. 
 Date:   1989 
 Subject(s):  Shippingport Atomic Power Station | Rickover, Hyman G. | Naval Reactors 
 Type:  Text 
 Format:  PDF 
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2Title:  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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3Title:  Tour of "USS Enterprise" and report on Joint AEC Naval Reactor Program Add
 Summary:  This document is based on a hearing that members of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy conducted on board the USS Enterprise in the spring of 1962. The hearing touched on a number of issues, involving both capabilities and costs, which factored into the adoption of nuclear propulsion for aircraft carriers. The first commanding officer of the Enterprise, Vincent P. de Poix, summarized the benefits of nuclear propulsion for carriers, including the ability to rapidly position the ship for air operations, the ability to sail to a trouble spot because of the carrier's support for sustained high-speed propulsion, and the absence of stack gases in the flight deck area, which minimizes aircraft corrosion in comparison with operations on an oil-fired carrier. The qualitative advantages that de Poix summarized, however, were weighed against quantitative advantages emphasized by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who recommended in 1963 that the next carrier to be built (CV-67) be conventionally-powered. The hearing also provides a nice summary of the naval nuclear propulsion training program, including the role of the Idaho National Laboratory's A1W prototype. Both the Enterprise's Reactor Officer, D.P. Brooks, and the ship's Engineering Officer, R.S. Smith, testify at the hearing and describe training approaches and the organization of the Enterprise's nuclear-trained officers and operators on the ship. The hearing document also includes "A treatise on nuclear propulsion in surface ships." This study was commissioned by Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of Naval Operations, in late 1960 and was completed in early 1961. It detailed both the favorable and limiting aspects regarding the adoption of nuclear propulsion in surface ships. A cost factor of 1.5 was included in the study. As summarized by historian Francis Duncan, this finding suggested that "the navy could buy ten nuclear-powered ships or fifteen oil-fired ships of the same type for the same total sum." Admiral Hyman Rickover (Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion) also testified at this hearing and addressed both this cost factor and the capabilities provided by nuclear propulsion. Finally, pages 54 through 56 of the hearing document include Rickover's summary of Shippingport Atomic Power Station reactor attributes and the potential benefits that the work at Shippingport could have for the nation's commercial nuclear power industry. 
 Reference:  Duncan, Francis. Rickover and the Nuclear Navy: The Discipline of Technology. Annapolis, Md: Naval Institute Press, 1990, pages 111-114. 
 Date:  31 March 1962 
 Subject(s):  A1W | A2W | USS Enterprise (CVN-65) | Shippingport Atomic Power Station | Rickover, Hyman G. | Naval Reactors 
 Type:  Text 
 Format:  PDF 
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