The Navy yesterday announced a $129.2 million contract to APTIM Federal Services to discard the Surface Ship Support Barge.
"This contract will accomplish engineering planning efforts, dismantlement, transport and disposal of the Surface Ship Support Barge," the announcement reads.
The Navy anticipates the contractor finishing the work by June 2023. The service is using fiscal year 2020 operations and maintenance funding to execute the award.
The barge was an oil tanker that had been "converted into a dockside refueling facility with a water pool used to disassemble spent nuclear fuel for shipment," a spokesman for the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program told Inside Defense in 2018.
Adm. James Caldwell, the director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, in 2018 said the SSSB disposal could help the Navy determine how it will discard the Enterprise (CVN-65), the service's first nuclear powered flattop.
"It's a much smaller project than something as enormous as the Enterprise. So we're undertaking that to learn about affordable, cost-effective ways to approach that," Caldwell said of the barge.
"And I won't go as far as to say that it's a blueprint for an Enterprise disposal, but we're going to learn some things that potentially could inform the way that we approach the Enterprise disposal," he continued.