Stuff You Should Know
The SS Charles H. Cugle was a Liberty-ship classified as a Type Z-EC2-S-C5 ship that was built by J.A. Jones Construction in Panama City, Florida at the WSA’s request and launched in August 1945. The ship was transferred to the US Army in 1963 and converted to a Nuclear Barge, becoming the first floating nuclear power plant in the world. The ship operated at Fort Belvoir in Virginia before being towed in the Panama Canal Zone due to lack of water for the hydroelectric plant where it remained until 1977. The ship was then decontaminated, sealed, and placed in the reserve fleet James River Group. 38 years later, the radioactivity levels were low enough for it to be safely removed, as such, the ship was cleaned from all the radioactive material by the Malin International Ship Repair and Drydock. The vessel was then cut down and sold for scrap.