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Next steps for the Enterprise

Nov. 30, 2012 - 01:07PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 30, 2012 - 01:07PM  |  
After being decommissioned Dec. 1, Enterprise still has years before the fuel reactors will be cut out in Bremerton, Wash.
After being decommissioned Dec. 1, Enterprise still has years before the fuel reactors will be cut out in Bremerton, Wash. (MC3 Jared King / Navy)
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Enterprise is scheduled to be inactivated in a http://www.public.navy.mil/airfor/enterprise/Documents/Enterprise/inactivation.html">Dec. 1 ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., where it is expected to berth for about six months while crew members remove gear and prepare for the teardown at the Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipyard. Workers there will remove spare parts and recover hazardous materials from the ship's systems.

During this four-year process, most of the crew will transfer to other commands. A skeleton crew of nukes will stay with the ship until its eight reactors are extracted. Enterprise's spent fuel will be removed in Newport News.

Officials expect to tow the ship in 2017 to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., where the workers will cut out the reactors. They will be buried in a trench at the Hanford nuclear reservation, where radioactive submarine reactors are stored. Spent nuclear fuel will be sent to the Naval Reactors Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Enterprise's hull, meanwhile, will be scrapped, despite some veterans wanting to http://militarytimes.com/blogs/scoopdeck/2012/10/22/carrier-enterprise-will-not-become-a-museum/">turn the historical ship into a museum.

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