Digest>May/Jun 2013

Photo Caption:

In this photo, taken on May 20, 1964, the crew of Coast Guard buoy tender White Pine is shown unloading a SNAP-7B nuclear atomic reactor generator for installation at the Baltimore Lighthouse at the mouth of the Magothy River in the Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore, Maryland. It was stated that the 60-watt generator would supply electricity for 10 years without refueling. The Baltimore Lighthouse was the first and only lighthouse in the United States to have nuclear power for its light. Canada also experimented with nuclear powered lighthouses, and Russia also used nuclear power for some of its lighthouses. Shown in the background is the white NS Savannah, named for the SS Savannah, which was the first nuclear powered cargo/passenger ship and was built at a cost of $46.9 million. The Savannah was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1991. The Coast Guard buoy tender White Pine W547 was commissioned in 1944 and served until it was decommissioned on June 29, 1999 and sold to the government of the Dominican Republic. (Lighthouse Digest archives photo.)
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The Nuclear Lighthouse
Back to the edition of: May/Jun 2013

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