20.08.

1962: NS Savannah – A Revolutionary Nuclear-Powered Ship

1962: NS Savannah – A Revolutionary Nuclear-Powered Ship
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 20 August 1962
  • In contrast to regular fossil fuel-powered ships, the NS Savannah could cover 560,000 km without refueling. Thirty passenger cabins could accommodate up to 60 passengers. The ship also included a dance hall, swimming pool, and bar. The interior design included symbols associated with atoms and nuclear technology.

The maiden voyage of the famous ship NS Savannah took place on this day in 1962.

It was a historically important event because the NS Savannah was the first nuclear-powered passenger and cargo ship in history. It cost an incredible 46,900,000 U.S. dollars to build, and its purpose was to demonstrate the possible utility of nuclear energy for peacetime purposes. Of course, the goal was also to keep pace with the USSR, which had already commissioned a civilian nuclear-powered ship (the icebreaker Lenin). The building of the ship was funded by U.S. president Eisenhower.

The NS Savannah was 181.66 meters long, and equipped with a 74 MW nuclear reactor. Its propulsion system could produce a maximum of 20,300 hp. In contrast to fossil fuel-powered ships, the NS Savannah could cover as many as 560,000 km without refueling.

The NS Savannah’s reactor was located amidships, the superstructure had to be moved to the rear part of the ship. The ship also included a dance hall, swimming pool, and bar. The interior design included symbols associated with atoms (such as a sculpture of the periodic system of elements) and nuclear technology. In fact, the NS Savannah’s design was so futuristic that it looked more akin to a luxury yacht than to a passenger and cargo ship.

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