Galveston - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the decommissioning and dismantling of the “Sturgis”, the world’s first floating nuclear power plant, on Friday. The Sturgis was being built in the 1940’s as a World War II Liberty Ship, the “Charles H. Cugle”. After serving in World War II, the ship was converted into the world’s first floating nuclear plant in the 1960’s, housing the MH-1A nuclear reactor. Before being shut down in 1976, the “Sturgis” nuclear reactor was used to generate electricity for military and civilian use in the Panama Canal.
The vessel was stored in the James River Reserve Fleet at Joint Base Langley Eustis, Virginia, before being towed to Galveston, Texas, in 2015 for decommissioning and dismantling. From 2015 to 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and it prime contractor, APTIM Federal Services, decommissioned the deactivated nuclear reactor.
The vessel underwent radiological decommissioning that included the safe removal of all components of the deactivated nuclear reactor and all associated radioactive waste that was formerly on board the Sturgis.