Nuclear Ship Savannah

kewl dude
26th October 2010, 05:05
I thought there was a Preserved/Museum ship forum but if there is I cannot find it?

Nuclear Ship Savannah

I have had this link on my machine since 2009 but with my dialup this site was impossible. October 21, 2010 I got my first ever broad band connection and I have been looking at things I was not able to before.

Attached are three collages of images gleaned from this site.

ns savannah.jpg are fifteen JPG’s. Details of the reactor including its position in the hull. In the center of the middle row the 90 seat Dining Room. Far right in the middle row and far right in the bottom row the 75 seat Bar, including the dance floor in the lower picture. Second from the left and center of the bottom row a typical Passenger Stateroom. Note there is a bunk installed fore and aft next to the bulkhead adjoining the ensuite head another adjacent to a cabin divider.

NSS1.jpg the bottom row two views of a passenger stateroom today. Note that the bunks are gone as are the overhead finishing panels. I noted this throughout the ship, in the Galley, on the Bridge, often the overhead is open just like this.

About the only thing evident being maintained are light bulbs. In many spaces paint has long since fallen off the overhead and litters the decks. You can see crazed paint falling off everywhere. These images are screen captures from the Flash images. These Flash images are neat in that you can turn around 360 degrees viewing all parts of a space. You also can look down at the deck at your feet and up at the overhead. These Flash images moved SO slow and took forever to redraw with my old dialup that I just gave up.

These Flash images cannot be copied or saved in the usual manner by clicking on them. It is necessary to utilize a screen capture, usually noted as Print Screen on your keyboard, then open the captured image in software where you can manipulate and save it. I use my ancient PhotoShop 6.0 – that runs REALLY fast on my new whiz bang computer – but any number of, even available online for a free download, image manipulation software can be used.

The Crew’s Berthing looks comfortable with the exception of the bunks oriented athwartship. MOST ships I sailed crew bunks were oriented fore and aft. Bunks oriented athwartship, when the ship is in any kind of weather, first you are sliding down until you are standing on your toes, then you slide up until you are standing on your head; making sleep VERY difficult. The NS Savannah had stabilizers that I assume reduced rolling?

Ships with bunks oriented fore and aft next to a bulkhead, when in heavy weather with the ship rolling violently, we would take our Life Jacket and fold them so the two front panels and the back panel were stacked three high. Then lift the off side of the mattress and place the Life Jacket under the edge of the mattress, to create a snug space enclosed on both sides. Lots easier sleeping when you are constrained from moving. Oh, sure, I recall violent rolls when even sleeping in my cocoon I was suddenly bodily tossed out of my bunk and awoke standing up trying to catch my balance on a heaving deck.

I assume that there is a shower and a toilet in that narrow space between behind the sink and the passageway? The crew lockers are large and spacious. There is a standard combination drawer dresser and desk with a hinge down writing surface with writing supplies storage. A settee long enough to lie down on, with what looks like a vinyl covering, occupies the bulkhead opposite the bunks. Altogether comfortable albeit normally austere crew accommodations not unlike most I experienced. Although just two people in a cabin was pretty much unheard of in the 1940’s, this ship was built in the 1950’s and ships I sailed built in the 1950’s had two person crew cabins with an ensuite head. Note that the overhead finish panels are intact in this crew cabin.

NSS2.jpg top left is the Control Room. Somewhere here in my home I hope I still have all the pictures I took at Kings Point -- United States Merchant Marine Academy for those not aware what Kings Point means to an American sailor. I have SO much “stuff” stored away in cardboard boxes in my attic, in my basement and my junk room. I am a disorganized organizer. I always envied Kings Point graduates, I came up from the Fcsle, the old fashioned On the Job Training way.

When I was in New York license upgrade school going for my C/E license, MEBA had a deal with Kings Point where every day for a week we would be bussed to Kings Point early in the morning. Each day was spent in one or another of their many laboratories.

We took an indicator card on a large diesel engine, I saw -- and witnessed it run -- my first ever Gas Turbine propulsion engine. There was a lab with a pair of small Motor Generator powered A/C generators and a switchboard. We got to try our hand changing over from one generator to another. Synchronizing the two sets then shifting the load from one to the other. There was an electrical lab where students learned to trouble shoot electrical panels. They made it so clear and easy to learn what had taken me quite a long while, looking at small black and white pictures in a book and reading written descriptions.

At each of these labs there were professors or instructors to demonstrate everything to us. We did not leave each day until 1700 to get into our bus and join the New York traffic rush hours back to our school.

When the NS Savanna was built an exact duplicate of the engine control room was installed at Kings Point. I took many, many pictures of that control room. I recall that the control panels were painted this weird light green color. I recall taking a couple close-up pictures of the SCRAM button, the button that shuts everything down RIGHT NOW, in the event of an emergency. Like a collision with another ship or the ship in danger of sinking.

Marine Engineers assigned to NS Savannah were trained in the operation of this control room at Kings Point before stepping a foot in the real one onboard. There were various things including simulated sounds attached to all these buttons and switches, indicator lights and gage panels that simulated actual operation. No wonder Kings Point graduates were so smart. If only I had known.

The other three images are of the engine room, standard 1950’s hardware. The top right picture is what opens on this page, a side view of the main turbines and shaft to the reduction gear.

The lower left picture shows the glass enclosed control room aft of the turbines above the main shaft. While I never sailed a ship with a control room I would think that they would be on one side or the other of the engine room or ahead of the turbine sets, just seems to me ergonomically that would make more sense?

Ships I sailed things like engine order telegraphs were installed so that ahead commands the telegraph handle pointed forward and of course pointed aft for astern orders. Things like that, throttle hand wheels, etc were installed forward of the engine so you were facing forward. I was under the impression all of this had been learned over the ages as methods to try and attempt to prevent wrong accidental engine movements? You can see back in there the dark green painted main unit turning gear electric motor. On your computer screen of course these images are larger and easier to see.

In the lower right picture you can see that all the steam lines to the turbines have been unbolted at flanges and blanked on both sides. I wonder why they did that?

Text on one page describes how one hatch there was a swimming pool in the square of the hatch on deck, with access to the holds below only through narrow openings around the outboard edges of the swimming pool. Looking at this online tour it is easy to realize that this ship was not built to be an economically feasible cargo carrier. One page describes that the cargo gear was light, not capable of picking up anything very heavy. This was done to fit in with the “Super Modern look” of this vessel.

A LOT of the spaces on this ship were given over to Passenger Staterooms and huge public spaces. Like an astonishingly large Pursers Office that would have fit right in with the gate at your local passenger airport. And the bulkheads of this spacious Pursers Office, as well as other public spaces, were decorated with large original oil paintings especially commissioned for this ship.

There are a LOT more images on the site, being an engineer of course I was most interested in the machinery spaces. There are colorful pictures of the insides of the decommissioned reactor containment vessel and the insides of the reactor itself. They show a man hole cover on the bottom of the reactor designed to blow off the external holding brackets to automatically open if the reactor sank to 100 feet underwater, to fill the reactor with seawater. When the reactor space was full of water this manhole was supposed to automatically close so no radioactive materials could leak out. This ship tour is very complete and helps me to more fully understand why the ship could never be a commercial success. A page said that the NS Savannah was President Eisenhower’s idea to show the world the practical peaceful uses of Nuclear Power.

The galley is HUGE, but of course it was designed not only to feed the crew and passengers but also the many visitors who were invited onboard for dinner and dancing events wherever this ship berthed. There is a picture of one of the first Microwave Ovens, a stainless steel Radar Range, that is the size of a LARGE side by side refrigerator. The site quotes the cost of this microwave oven at $5,000 equivalent to $35,000 in 2008 dollars.

If you have a broad band internet connection go look at this site, if no one else I suspect marine engineers will be interested?

Getting back to Kings Point. Friday of that week at the 1700 conclusion of instruction all of the professors and instructors we had met that week joined us in Kings Point’s spacious executive dining room. MEBA officials also came over and we all participated in a cocktail party, followed by a delicious banquet. The instructors and professors were scattered at the round tables where we students sat, so we all got a chance to talk in a less formal atmosphere. Somewhere here hopefully I still have the pictures I took of everything I have described here, and more, at Kings Point.

If you infer that I was impressed with Kings Point you are correct.

Greg Hayden

kewl dude
19th July 2012, 01:37
Today I found the Polaroids I took of NS Savannah Engine Room Reactor control board mock-up, installed at Kings Point

prior to the Savannah commissioning and used to train engineers throughout NS Savannah period of operation.

The pictures are in order left to right, the fifth picture shows the SCRAM Button see:

"A scram or SCRAM is an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor"

Greg Hayden

Jan Hendrik
20th July 2012, 02:02
There are several threads about this vessel, perhaps these can be merged by one of the moderators.