M 712 - NS Savannah

Tri-ang Minic Ships - M 712 NS Savannah

This is the Tri-ang Minic Ships model of NS Savannah, the first nuclear powered commercial vessel ever built, which was named after SS Savannah the first steamship to cross the Atlantic in 1819.

The construction of NS Savannah was originally proposed by President Eisenhower in 1955 as part of his program to promote the peaceful and practical uses of atomic energy known as "Atoms for Peace".

Painted brilliant white, with the image of the atom on its superstructure, the ship was designed by George G Sharp Inc of New York as a showcase rather than a practical merchant vessel. The ship had sleek hull lines, reminiscent of a luxury yacht, and was fitted with luxurious passenger accommodations including public halls, a swimming pool, and theatre.

While the appearance of the ship was greatly admired the design did not provide additional space for the bulky nuclear reactor and this, coupled with the passenger accommodations, restricted its cargo capacity to such an extent that the vessel was never commercially viable. 

The ship was built by the New York Shipbuilding Company and powered by a nuclear power plant which was designed and provided by the Babcock & Wilcox Company, who were selected by the Atomic Energy Commission.


Name: NS Savannah
Owner: American Export Isbrandtsen Lines
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden N.J. Yard Number 529
Laid Down: 16th November 1957
Launched: 1st May 1962
Displacement: 21850 tons full load
Length: 595 ft 6 in ( 181.5 m )
Beam: 78 ft ( 23.8 m )
Propulsion: Nuclear Steam Generator, Geared Steam turbine, 1 shaft, 22,000 shp
Maximum Speed: 23 knots
Crew Complement: 124
Passengers: 60
Disposal: Decommissioned 1981 Laid up in the US National Defense Reserve Fleet at Fort Eustis on the James River since 1994

Front Cover of the brochure advertising the ship

Further details can be obtained from the following linkss -
The Neal Elosge Marine & Nuclear Engineering Page http://home.earthlink.net/~nealelosge/
An Adobe Acrobat document providing details of the ship http://www.asme.org/history/brochures/h087.pdf
Article from Atomic Energy Insights http://www.atomicinsights.com/jul95/failure.html