World’s First Nuclear-Powered Cargo-Passenger Ship ‘Savannah’ Gets Historical Marker


The Georgia Historical Society, in collaboration with the Savannah Ocean Exchange and Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, will dedicate a historical marker for the Nuclear Ship Savannah on Wed., Aug. 22, 2012, at 5 p.m. The dedication will take place at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

In 1955, President of the United States Dwight Eisenhower proposed building a nuclear-powered merchant ship as a showcase for his “Atoms for Peace” initiative. The next year, Congress authorized NS Savannah as a joint project of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the Department of Commerce. She was designed by George G. Sharp, Incorporated, of New York City. Her keel was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey. Her nuclear reactor was manufactured by Babcock and Wilcox. She was christened by U.S. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower at the ship’s launching on 21 July 1959. In 1969, The NS Savannah became the first nuclear powered ship to dock in New York City.

The marker dedication will include a keynote address from Franklin A. Parker, Chief Counsel of the U.S. Maritime Administration. A public reception sponsored by the Propeller Club will follow.


Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, August 13, 2012