Length: 360 feet
Beam: 33 feet
Draft: 25 feet
Displacement: 6,135 tons surfaced / 6,901 tons submerged
Unclassified Speed: 25+ knots
Unclassified Operating Depth: 400+ feet
Weapons Systems: AN/BSY-1. Her missions include anti-submarine
warfare, anti-surface warfare and strike warfare.
Propulsion: S6G nuclear reactor
Complement/Average Number of Personnel Assigned: 14 Officer / 127 Enlisted
Date Launched:12 September 1987
Date Commissioned: 11 February 1989
Homeport: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The propulsion plant of a nuclear powered ship is based upon use of
a nuclear reactor to provide heat. The heat comes from the fissioning of
nuclear fuel contained within the reactor. Since the fissioning process
also produces radiation, shields are placed around the reactor so that
the crew is protected.
The nuclear propulsion plant in this ship uses a
pressurized water reactor design which has two basic systems; the primary
system and the secondary system.
The primary system circulates ordinary
water and consists of the reactor, piping loops, pumps and steam generators.
The heat produced in the reactor is transferred to the water under high
pressure so it does not boil. The water is pumped through the steam generators
and back into the reactor for reheating. In the steam generators, the heat
from the water in the primary system is transferred to the secondary system
to create steam.
The secondary system is isolated from the primary system
so that the water in the two systems does not intermix. In the secondary
system, the steam flows from the steam generators to drive the turbine
generators, which supply the ship with electricity, the steam is condensed into water which is fed back to the steam generators by the feed pumps.
Thus, both the primary and secondary systems
are closed systems where water is recirculated and reused. There is no
step in the generation of this power which requires the presence of air
or oxygen. This allows the ship to operate completely independent from the earth's atmosphere for extended periods of time.