An unsung hero makes its last voyage
Sturgis has gone largely unknown in marine circles and in nuclear energy circles, primarily because of the military nature of the entire project. While there were public materials circulated in the 1950s showing a US Army conceptual nuclear power barge that could be towed almost anywhere to provide power to shore, there was precious little published for public consumption when the project was brought from concept to actual hardware, writes Will Davis.
Officially known as MH-1A, the vessel was named Sturgis, after General Samuel D Sturgis, Jr. It held a single loop pressurized water type rated at 45 MWt and a turbine-generator to provide 10 MWe to a portable electric substation which the ship would take with it. This vessel, which operated as the world's first floating nuclear power plant from 1967 to 1976, has now begun its final voyage to decommissioning.