Navy Delays Recycling Approach for ex-USS Enterprise
WASHINGTON — The Navy has decided to cancel the August Request for Proposal for the commercial recycling of the non-nuclear portions of the aircraft carrier ex-USS Enterprise (CVN 65), taking no action at this time, Naval Sea Systems command announced in a Feb. 27 release.
The Navy has identified that it requires more information to determine the approach for the disposal of CVN 65, including the reactor plants, that is more technically executable, environmentally responsible and is an effective utilization of Navy resources. No decision on a preferred approach has been made to this point.
The notional disposal alternatives for CVN 65, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, include commercial recycling of the non-nuclear portions of the ship followed by reactor compartment packaging at Puget Sound, Wash., Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility or commercial recycling of the entire ship, which includes dismantling the eight defueled reactor plants. The Navy also is considering a third option that evaluates placing CVN 65 in intermediate-term storage for a limited number of years and deferring the disposal path decision for a later date.
The CVN 65 inactivation availability at Newport News Shipbuilding, Va., should conclude in August. The ship then will be placed into temporary storage until the path ahead for disposal is determined. The Navy is working to identify a storage location.
The Navy will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate potential environmental impacts associated with each of the alternatives being considered. The EIS process will include the conduct of public scoping meetings and ensure the Navy has the opportunity to understand public concerns with the alternatives. The Navy is working toward publishing the EIS Notice of Intent as soon as possible.
Other aspects associated with the alternatives, including executability, cost, and regulatory considerations will continue to be evaluated in parallel with the preparation of the EIS. The Navy is taking these steps to ensure CVN 65 is recycled in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. Given the complexities of the issues involved in recycling CVN 65, the Navy remains committed to a fully open and public process for conducting the first-ever disposal of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.