Tag Archives: marine nuclear power USA

60 Year Anniversary of “Underway on Nuclear Power”

60 years ago, on 17 Jan 1955,  CDR Eugene Wilkinson, the first CO of the USS Nautilus, SSN-571, ordered the following message sent as his nuclear-powered sub got underway for the first time in New London, CT:

Wilkinson_Message  Source: U.S. NavyWILKINSON-obit-web-articleLarge Source: U.S. Navy

You’ll find an interesting, short backstory to this message at the following link:
Wilkinson retired from the Navy as a Vice Admiral in 1974, died in 2013, and is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.
There’s a short history of the early Navy nuclear power program and Nautilus at the following link:
 nautilus_23 Source: U.S. Navy
We owe a debt of gratitude to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover for the success of the Naval Nuclear Power Program, which is quite visible here in San Diego, with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers based at North Island and submarines operating from Ballast Point in Point Loma.
22 December 2015 update:
On 5 August 2015, I made a presentation to the Lyncean Group on 60 Years of Marine Nuclear Power: 1955 – 2015.  In connection with this presentation, I compiled an extensive history of worldwide marine nuclear power programs in five files:
  • Part 1 – Introduction
  • Part 2 – USA
  • Part 3 – Soviet Union / Russia
  • Part 4 – Other nuclear marine nations (UK, France, China and others)
  • Part 5 – Arctic operations
These detailed history files are available to view or download as pdf files on the Lyncean Past Meetings tab, Talk # 97, 8/5/15. Following is the direct link: