The cost to get rid of the former USS Enterprise could cost the U.S. Navy more than $1.5 billion.
The Enterprise was the world’s very first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier when it was commissioned in 1961. It served the Navy for decades before finally being decommissioned in 2017. The ship last docked at Naval Station Norfolk, where it has gone through the entire process of inactivation.
The ship will now need to be disassembled and disposed, where much of the cost comes in. The Navy now has to decide whether or not to let commercial companies handle the dismantling, which would be cheaper, or prepare the dismantling at a shipyard and then leave the non-nuclear parts of the ship to a commercial company.
The cheaper proposal comes with more issues, however, as The Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are at odds with each other. The Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would oversee the commercial disposal, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it has no authority over Navy ships.