Elder of the US Nuclear Power Plants

, director, Nuclear Safety Project | May 5, 2015, 6:00 am EDT
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Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit #54

Hyman G. Rickover has often been referred to as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy.” It is even engraved on his tombstone in Arlington Cemetery.

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(Source: Flickr photo by Cliff)

USS Nautilus (Source: US Navy)

USS Nautilus (Source: US Navy)Rickover earned this label by overseeing the design, development, and deployment of warships propelled by nuclear reactorshe USS Nautilus was commissioned in September 1954 as the world’s first nuclear powered submarine and put to sea for the first time in January 1955.

Rickover earned this label by overseeing the design, development, and deployment of warships propelled by nuclear reactors.

The USS Nautilus was commissioned in September 1954 as the world’s first nuclear powered submarine and put to sea for the first time in January 1955.

The USS Enterprise was commissioner in November 1960 as the world’s first nuclear powered aircraft carrier and made her maiden voyage in January 1962.

USS Enterprise (Source: U.S. Navy)

USS Enterprise (Source: U.S. Navy)

Under Rickover’s command, nearly 200 nuclear powered submarines and surface ships joined the US Navy.

Similarly, I am the “Elder of the US Nuclear Power Plants.” It’s not that I’m bragging or boasting. It’s simply the truth.

The Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Oak Harbor, Ohio was named after me.

David Bessie (Source: NRC)

David Bessie (Source: NRC)

Shearon Harris (Source: NRC)

Shearon Harris (Source: NRC)

 

The Shearon Harris nuclear plant near New Hill, North Carolina was also named after me. Even the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant near Avila Beach, California was named after me.

Diablo Canyon (Source: NRC)

Diablo Canyon (Source: NRC)

In fact, all 99 of the nuclear power reactors currently operating in the United States from sea to shining sea were named after me.

It’s quite an honor, to be sure. And it just keeps getting better. All of the nuclear power reactors currently under construction in the U.S. are named after me.

Bottom Line

What did I do to become the “Elder of the US Nuclear Power Plants?”

I was born and named before these reactors were named.

Ironically, I was named after Hyman Rickover, and Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill, and Amelia Earhardt, and Roberto Clemente, and my mother, and Scottish open-wheel racing champion Jim Clark, and everyone (and everything) named before me.

By the way, who was the Mother of the Nuclear Navy?

 

The UCS Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit (NEAT) is a series of post intended to help citizens understand nuclear technology and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s processes for overseeing nuclear plant safety.

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  • Glenn Carroll

    Thanks for the laugh! Glad we’ve got an elder like you on the job!

  • Sigma

    Very catchy, especially for an elder?! (:-)
    Are there any of those plants named after you that you would like to disavow any relation too?! (:-) Is there a favorite son (or daughter)?
    Really liked you talking about the Admiral. Believe he had some reservations about nuclear power especially in the hands of civilians and capitalists. In fact I think he once said he only pushed nuclear ships and subs to counter the Soviets. He considered it a necessary evil.

  • Joyce Agresta

    Rickover was one of my very first enemies in this life of growing up in the center of the Nuclear power movement. Certainly he was less cruel once Helms came along. Perhaps he did protect and serve the US population of his generation, knowingly decisively at the cost to future generations and tens of thousands of test subjects.
    Rickover buried the good work of my late great uncle whom was a capable Nuclear Physicist employed by the US government to make such projections. Joeseph Agresta (J. Agresta NRC document search). Classified six Cap C) , unclassified. Red reclassified. Behind the admiral where many capable scientist in the background hidden sometimes even in a protective custody the value of the state secrets superseding rights. Rickover assured that their ominous findings never made it to congress. He had industry promises to keep a reputation to protect.
    Sun Florida systems 1973 breach William Bill Joy SILKWOOD : Friends of the Manatee