If the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) is towed to Bremerton, Washington for recycling, it will likely take fully a decade and $1.5 Billion to dismantle and recycle the ship. In addition, numerous other recycling projects, primarily decommissioned Los Angeles-class submarines, could be thrown off schedule.
The Enterprise could be towed to Brownsville, Texas, to be recycled by a commercial shipyard and the Navy is also exploring this option. The costs range from substantially to slightly less, estimates ranging from $750 Million to $1.4 Billion. However, the time would be cut in half, estimated at 5 years.
For now, Enterprise sits in Tidewater, Virginia. She has been fully de-fueled and decommissioned. However, her eight reactors remain within the dead hulk.
One option is removing the reactors and sending them overland to Bremerton, while towing the remainder of the hulk to Brownsville.
The decision will not come until at least 2023 and will be of grave importance, as first the USS Nimitz and then other Nimitz-class carriers reach the end of their service life and must be dismantled and recycled.
Frankly, I think the option of removing the reactors and sending them overland to Bremerton and recycling the remainder of the ship at Brownsville seems the best choice. Radiation contamination of the ships inner areas proximate to the reactors is likely minimal and a commercial shipyard would be capable of segregating contaminated steel.
If the government wanted to do it on the cheap, just tow the whole damn thing over the Mariana Trench and pump it full of torpedoes.