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Corps Completes Demolition Of Floating Nuclear Plant

The Corps of Engineers announced that the almost four-year process of decommissioning and recycling the Sturgis, the world’s first floating nuclear plant, was completed March 18 at the International Shipbreaking Facility in the Port of Brownsville, Texas.

The Corps converted the Sturgis from a World War II Liberty Ship to a mobile nuclear plant in the 1960s. It was deactivated and partially decommissioned in 1976 and safely stored in the James River Reserve Fleet at Joint Base Langley Eustis, Va., until being towed to Galveston in 2015 for its final decommissioning and dismantling.

From 2015 to 2018, the vessel underwent radiological decommissioning by the Corps and its prime contractor, APTIM Federal Services, including the safe removal of all components of the deactivated nuclear reactor and all associated radioactive waste that was formerly onboard the Sturgis.

As part of the decommissioning, the Corps safely removed and shipped more than 1.5 million pounds of radioactive waste and recycled more than 600,000 pounds of lead. 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.

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