Military Wiki

The A1B reactor is a nuclear reactor being designed by lead engineer Arthur Tapper for use by the United States Navy to provide electricity generation and propulsion for the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers.[1] It has been in development since 1998.[2]

The A1B designation stands for:[3]

  • A = Aircraft carrier platform
  • 1 = First generation core designed by the contractor
  • B = Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation is the contracted designer

Initial plans for the Gerald R. Ford-class carrier program include a two-reactor complex intended to replace the A4W reactor design used on the Nimitz-class carriers. The new A1B reactor plant is a smaller, more efficient design that provides approximately three times the electrical power of the Nimitz-class A4W reactor plant. The modernization of the plant led to a higher core energy density, lower demands for pumping power, a simpler construction, and the use of modern electronic controls and displays. These changes resulted in a two-thirds reduction of watch standing requirements and a significant decrease of required maintenance.[4]


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