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Nuclear warship ready for dismantling

US – US-based non-ferrous buyer and supplier Tacoma Metals has won the right to dismantle and recycle the USS Long Beach, which entered the history books as the first nuclear-powered surface warship.

The Washington company secured the 721-foot ship in an on-line auction hosted by Government Liquidators – a website that makes surplus and scrap assets from the US military available for purchase. Though the US non-ferrous player has not revealed the price tag, industry sources estimate the vessel’€™s total value at around US$ 895 000.

Because the very floor plan of nuclear surface ships and subs is classified as top secret, the US Navy saw to it that the USS Long Beach’€™s superstructures and reactors, together with any radioactive elements, were removed prior to being released into Tacoma’€™s custody. The American cruiser is said still to contain millions of pounds of steel, aluminium, copper and other raw material.

The warship was the first to be constructed entirely new after World War II and went on a world tour in 1964 to showcase the potential of nuclear power. It completed this trip within five months and without refuelling.

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