Vinson Rejoins Fleet

Northrop Grumman redelivered the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), to the U.S. Navy July 11, following a successful three and a half-year refueling and complex overhaul. Photo by Chris Oxley

Northrop Grumman redelivered the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), to the U.S. Navy July 11, following a successful three and a half-year refueling and complex overhaul. Photo by Chris Oxley

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Jul 13, 2009 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) redelivered the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), to the U.S. Navy July 11. The redelivery follows the completion of a successful three-and-a-half-year evolution known as a refueling and complex overhaul. The project was performed by the company’s Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va. and was completed within budget.

Redelivery also follows successful sea trials. Sea trials are conducted to test systems, components and demonstrate operations at sea. The trials also include high-speed runs and a demonstration of the carrier’s other capabilities.

“The redelivery of the Carl Vinson is testimony to the tremendous teamwork between our crew, the Northrop Grumman workers, and the Supervisor of Shipbuilding,” said Rear Adm. (select) Ted Carter, who was the Commanding Officer of USS Carl Vinson during the last two and a half years of the RCOH project. “Without that triad of effort, I would not be able to tell you of all the great work accomplished during the overhaul period, which resulted in our ship returning to sea as one of the most advanced ships in the world.”

The refueling and complex overhaul is performed only once in a carrier’s 50-year life and includes extensive modernization work to more than 2,300 compartments, hundreds of system upgrades, and over 20 million man-hours of work, to include defueling and refueling the nuclear reactors.

Full release HERE.

Comments

  1. fj44dash1 : most reactor designs in production these days (as opposed to recently designed or experimental reactors) use fuel rods, usually either a mix of radioactive metals (uranium, plutonium) or radioactive oxides (uranium oxide, plutonium oxide) with some other things combined together into the rod shapes. Presumably refueling involves opening up the containment vessels, sliding the spent rods out, sliding new rods in and sealing everything back up carefully.

    The spent rods are then kept in a pool of water until the radiation dies down to a lower level (it takes a few months I think), and either put into storage or reprocessed. When the rods are “spent” they still contain something like 90+% of the original fuel, but they’re too contaminated with fission products to be useful. However, they can be recycled and the useful fuel extracted and reused. However, my understanding is that the USA does not currently reprocess spent fuel. I think other countries like France do.

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