Jancorjoh schreef: ↑
01 jan 2019 22:20
Er zijn 4 koopvaardijschepen geweest met nucleaire aandrijving.
En dan de Sturgis als nucleaire power plant in het Panama Kanaal.
Heeft drie jaar in Galveston gelegen voor decommissioning.
Hieronder een stukje uit de Houston Chronicle van 26 september 2018:
Decommissioned floating nuclear power plant departs Galveston for final shipbreaking in Brownsville
With rain clouds hovering over the Houston Ship Channel on Tuesday morning, a small group of people in neon yellow rain galoshes gathered at Fort San Jacinto Historic Point on the far east end of Galveston island to bid farewell to a defunct floating nuclear power plant that once supplied power for the engineering and construction of the Panama Canal.
After a short wait, the Sturgis emerged around the northern tip of Galveston island, pulled by two tug boats on its final journey to the Port of Brownsville, where the vessel will be dismantled for recycling after a successful three-year radiological decommissioning by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston.
As the Sturgis, formerly a handsome World War II Liberty ship stripped of its bells and whistles, passed by Fort San Jacinto Historic point, spectators watched its progress. Many of them were involved in the three-year, highly complicated job of taking apart a vessel that was never meant to be taken apart.
“It was a major team accomplishment,” said Brenda Barber, the project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “A lot of complexities, a lot of ingenuity from everyone on the team, but we finally got it done.”
As the Sturgis faded into the shroud of rain clouds, Barber explained the byzantine process of reverse engineering a floating nuclear power plant. As many as 30 to 50 people at a time from a variety of trades contributed to the vessel’s deconstruction.
“For this particular vessel, she had 10,000 drawings that we sorted through,” Barber said. “Unfortunately, a lot of them were very old, hard to interpret, weren’t as accurate as we had hoped, so it was kind of an iterative approach — we had to go in, take a piece out, re-evaluate it, look at the engineering, engineer the next step, so it was very time-consuming.”
Despite the intricate labor, Barber also recognized that she was managing a project with a fascinating back story.
“There’s a sense of history, taking apart and understanding what the operators at the time did on the vessel,” she said.
The Sturgis has lived a long life, first built in 1945 in Panama City, Fla. Dubbed the SS Charles H. Cugle, it was one of more than 2,700 Liberty ships built in the 1940s to modernize the United States’ aging merchant fleet during World War II.
After the war, the ship was transferred to the Army in 1963 and fitted with a pressurized water reactor fueled by low enriched uranium. The midsection of the ship was replaced with a power plant and a concrete barrier for protection. The vessel, now essentially a barge, was renamed the Sturgis. After a year of operation in Fort Belvoir, Va., it departed for Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal Zone in 1968 where it was used to generate electricity for military and civilian use.
“That was really the goal, she could be taken anywhere so that if the U.S. Army needed to provide some level of additional power or (primary) power, that was the purpose,” Barber said.
In 1976, the Sturgis was no longer needed for the Panama Canal. The vessel was mothballed, a casualty of the discontinuation of the Army’s Nuclear Power Program. The reactor was de-fueled, decontaminated for long-term storage, and sealed before being towed to the James River Reserve Fleet at Joint Base Langley-Eustis inVirginia, where it was stored and maintained since 1978, except for times of periodic dry dock maintenance.
The Sturgis’ formal decommissioning effort began in 2012, and the Sturgis was ultimately towed 1,750 miles from Virginia to Galveston in April 2015 for its final decommissioning.
For the last three years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its prime contractor, APTIM Federal Services, have been removing and shipping more than 1.5 million pounds of radioactive waste and recycling more than 600,000 pounds of lead from the Sturgis.
Throughout the project, continuous environmental monitoring was performed and the results confirmed there was no evidence of radioactive material, lead or increased radiation exposure from the Sturgis project during its time in the Port of Galveston. Barber added that the workers were exposed to a “minimal” dose of radiological waste.
Hans Honerlah, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ health physicist on the project, said that all workers wore hazmat suits while working on the vessel, but that innovative techniques were also used to protect workers from exposure.
“The primary tool we used is time, distance and shielding,” Honerlah said. “Minimize the time you’re around something, if you’re around something that has a (radiological) dose, try to keep the distance a little bit further, and if that is not possible then you try to shield it, put something between you and the radioactive material that’s causing the dose.”
After extensive radiological surveys confirmed all radioactive waste had been removed from the vessel, the Sturgis was cleared to be towed to Brownsville for traditional shipbreaking. Once in the Port of Brownsville, the shipbreaking is expected to be completed in early 2019. Based on current estimates, approximately 5,500 tons of steel and other assorted metals from the ship will be recycled
For Honerlah, seeing the Sturgis towed off to Brownsville was the conclusion of his 20-year relationship with the vessel. He described first setting foot on the Sturgis in 1998 and finding a note left behind by workers who shut down the ship in 1976.
“Everybody signed this piece of paper and put it in a little ammo box, and inside the ammo box was a bottle of Jim Beam,” Honerlah said. “The (note) said, ‘Whoever opens it in 2000-whenever, have a drink on us.’ That was a neat piece of history.”
Een voorspoedig en vooral gezond 2019 voor alle Kombuizers!