NS Savannah - Radioactive Wastes
The ship was designed to contain more than 10,000 gallons of liquid radioactive waste (at least 100 days accumulation). However, actual waste output initially exceeded storage capacity. During her first year in operation, Savannah released more than 115,000 gallons of radioactive waste at sea.11 Later, modifications were made to bring the amount of waste resulting from valve leaks in line with the ship's onboard storage capacity.
When operating properly, radioactive wastes were stored in the ship until disposal could be arranged at a licensed facility, or it could be discharged to its special servicing barge. N.S.V. (Nuclear Servicing Vessel) Atomic Servant was designed by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation for the Atomic Energy Commission. The 129' long, 36' wide barge was built in 1960 at Houston, Texas, by the Todd Shipyard Corporation. She included no propulsion power of her own. Atomic Servant displaced 650 tons, and included a 50' crane and a specially designed fuel storage pit. Lined by approximately 12" of lead on all sides, this pit contained a replacement set of Savannah's fuel elements and control rods. Atomic Servant was to be on call for servicing Savannah anywhere in the world. Furthermore, the Todd Shipyard Corporation was selected to establish a special nuclear ship servicing facility at Galveston.13 It was reported that the Galveston yard could "serve 20 or more nuclear ships per year as well as handle most licensing, training, inspection, refueling, start-up, maintenance, and repair functions associated with nuclear ships."
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