A potential $1.5 Billion pricetag to recycle the USS Enterprise (CVN-65)

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. :smile:

Or the Puerto Rico Trench. Dispose of our trash in our own yards.


Of course we could just park it near the capital and rename it Rivet City.

(Extra points to those that get the reference without Google.)



Paint it gold, anchor it in international waters, rename it Isle de Trump and tell Donny we built him his own island to retire on as a reward for his yuge presidency.

…just keep the radiation contamination on the hush hush.


I give up…

Why don’t we just send someone into the future and have the Federation send NCC-1701 back to 2018 instead of mothballing it after the Khan incident? We could use that technology to jump start Trump’s Space Force …

I mean, the thing is going to get destroyed in Star Trek III anyway, and Kirk can always find another ship to steal…

This story from 2012 illustrates a potential issue. Bed, Bath and Beyond had to recall tissue boxes in January of 2012, due to contamination with Cobalt-60. That means every bit of the scrap emanating from the reactor area has to be scanned for radiation prior to going to the smelters. A relatively small amount of radioactive scrap could potentially render many tons of recycled metal useless.

War, war never changes



You win a cookie…



Shoulda gone for the fancylad snack cake ;p

Refit it as a Naval/Marine attack platform and put her back in service.

Even steel drill pipe being pulled from the ground often shows low levels of radiation and has to be segregated.

I agree with the original post, pull the boxes, haul them over, and scrap the rest.

It just gets more expensive while the Navy waffles over how to proceed and they will likely waffle for several more years before reaching a decision. The Navy is forking over $34 Million more to keep the Enterprise’s hulk in mothballs and prepare it for eventual towing.

If the Enterprise ultimately goes to Bremerton, Washington for breaking, it is estimated that breaking and recycling won’t even begin until 2034 and take until 2044, due to the tremendous backlog of nuclear powered submarines awaiting recycling.

I still favor the idea of removing the reactors and sending them overland to Bremerton and towing the remainder of the hulk to Brownsville, Texas for breaking.

I must be missing something but why can’t a decision be made until 2023?

Basically, the Navy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are having a turf war over who is even in charge of recycling the Enterprise. That is what is delaying things so much.

Can’t we just put Jean Luc picard in charge of what happens to the enterprise? :slight_smile:

I think I could put a group of Kindergartner’s in charge of disposing the Enterprise and they likely could make a better and faster decision than the government. :smile:

I have no issues with nuclear powered naval ships but honestly shouldn’t how you are going to dispose of them be something you think about when you build them to start with?