BREMERTON, Wash. -- The Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, will be deactivated Dec. 1 at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia where it arrived Sunday to end 51 years of service. But the famed ship is eventually headed for Washington.
After spent fuel is removed at Norfolk, the Navy plans to tow the Enterprise to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton. The nuclear reactors will be cut out of the ship and barged to the Hanford nuclear reservation.
The reactors will be buried in a trench the Navy has been using since 1986 to bury radioactive reactors from other nuclear-powered vessels, mostly submarines.
Reactor disposal will take six to eight years. The rest of the Enterprise will be scrapped at Bremerton.