Letters, Random Memories
and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)
Since my last two quizzes were nailed in a matter
of hours, here's one that will require a bit more thought. The
winner gets a free backstage pass to the next P'Mooj gig.
What was the biggest "load" on the Big
E? (By this I mean it consumed the most electrical power.)
If you're a former Load Toad, then you must list the
top five "big loads" for the prize. (Wasn't this a final board
Mark Takes a Stab ...
I will take a stab at the electrical question.
How about any bank of Warm-up heaters?
How about load center 510 where all the top side
loads (radars etc) got their juice?
KP Note: You're close. The w/u hts
were one of the biggest loads on the ship (certainly the biggest in
plant) but not largest overall. (Remember how the SRO had to call LD
before he could energize heater banks?). LC510 was the
most important LC; however, all you really had to do was worry about the 'bus'
it was on. That was a guaranteed board question from Rocky
Spane, as it was the only bus and LC he cared about.
For this quiz think "big friggen motor"
that pulls something very heavy. Also, recall big things that
move up and down to move planes from HB to FD.
Arrgh Shows His Limited Airdale
Kp, you rock!!!
The "tail codes" have nothing to do with port calls,
"hostesses" or whores... they are the letters on the tails
of the aircraft designating, well, something. Ok, I'm no airdale,
but that's what they are, anyways. What a rock!
ps - thanks to the Ike dude that calls certain of us his heroes.
By the way, all the stories are true, but as a man with certain
discretion now, and some manner of personal pride, and since I like
KP, there are some of the best stories that will never be put to the
written arts. Remember....
NEVER PUT ANYTHING IN WRITING THAT YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO EXPLAIN
IN A COURT OF LAW!
I'd hate having to explain... HA! Thought I was going to spill
it, eh? Not so this time. Those stories are for audible transmission
only, so I can claim you are lying if the Feds ever show up.
KP Note: Wow Arrrgh! I never figured you for
a topside kind of guy. Maybe you learned this bit of knowledge
while working on your scale model since you certainly didn't learn
it while sitting on the panel (or maybe you did). I pursued my
cruise book and, sure enough, you're right. That tale code is
painted on all the plane tails. Hopefully one of the airdales
that secretly read this site (and wish they could have been nukes)
will write in and tell us the significance of the tail code.
Todd Miller Gets New Email:
Hey, can you update my email address. It is now email@example.com
. I'm in the 1980's group.
Tail Code Info:
The "tail code" is the Air Wing designation. NH is
CVW-11. NK is CVW-14. Air Wing designations beginning with
"N" are Pacific while those beginning with "A"
Harry E. Beasor Jr.
I believe those large loads were the anchor
windlasses and the aircraft elevators.
Greg Boyle (RM-23 89-93)
KP Note: Correct! I forget the amps that
the anchor windlass pulled but it was mucho. Them aircraft elevators
were also huge loads. I think the w/u htrs came in 3rd. Hopefully
one of our former Load Toad pals will verify this.
HAPPY VETERANS DAY!!!
To all my shipmates and veteran friends,
here's a salute to you (I'm holding up a bottle of Genesee Cream
Ale). Best of luck to those in harm's way and may you come home
One of my co workers is a former Marine. He recently saw the new
movie "Jarhead" and came to work sporting wood as a
result. We ended up exchanging good natured barbs about each others
former branch of service. Here's some of the fallout:
When I was in Boot Camp in '72 we had a number of classroom
sessions. One class dealt with how to deal with life at sea. One of
the instructors closed the class with, "Some of you who are
married may worry that your wife is going to be doing some Marine
while you are at sea. Don't worry, I have a foolproof remedy. Just
have your wife promise to leave a pair of dirty shoes outside your
door every night. Those Marines would rather shine shoes than f**k
When I got to the E in '74 there was a group of ~ 75 Marines
referred to as Mardet. Their primary function seemed to be harassing
the 30 or so brig rats that we would have at any given time.
Occasionally they would also escort the Captain around the ship and
act as bodyguards. Not sure why this was necessary on a warship.
In early '75 we sailed up into the Gulf of Oman for a few days.
It must have been some sort of hot spot because Mardet mounted .50
cal machine guns in the catwalks around the flight deck. It was neat
to watch the Marines practice fire the .50 cals at night. The
tracers would fly out several hundred yards then hit the water and
ricochet off at crazy angles. Pretty cool as long as you were on the
"giving" end of the guns.
In April '75 the E took part in "Operation Frequent Wind'
which ended in the evacuation of Saigon. When it was over they
loaded a bunch of Marine CH-53s on our flight deck and we ferried
the aircraft and crewmen to Hawaii. The Marines off these helos were
combat seasoned and had hair as long as most of us squids. They
laughed at our Marines with their high and tight haircuts and
referred to them as "Boot camps" and " Seagoing
One of Mardet's duties was to clean "Admiral's
Country". This was a hundred foot stretch of the 2nd deck port
side passage way. It was curtained off on each end to keep out
riff-raff like me. About the only time us enlisted pukes were
allowed to set foot here was the three minutes after the sounding of
GQ. The few times I went through here I was runnin' my ass off
trying to beat Material Condition Zebra. Even so the sterile
cleanliness of the area was obvious. The linoleum tiles on the floor
and brass fixtures on the bulkheads were polished to a mirror
finish. Mardet was pretty much the only group on the ship anal
enough to do that. Say what you want about the Marines, but those
were some field-dayin' motherf**kers.
These days a number of 18 and 19 year olds join the Marines
knowing full well that they will spend a lot of time away from their
families and in harm's way. God Bless 'em all.
Today's Veteran's Day. Greetings go out to the members, veterans
and families of all branches.
Veteran's Day Wishes ...
If you haven't been thanked today, I would like to thank you for
serving your country to your utmost ability and to wish you and your
family a Happy Veteran's Day. Take a minute and think of those who
have paid the ultimate price for what we have today and thank those
who have served or continue to serve our country. God bless the USA.
Greetings and Correction:
Although I never served in the Navy, I have been a naval history
buff (and interested in nuclear propulsion) since high school.
I have to correct a story that appeared on your pages.
My friend Bruce F., STS3/ss, was on the George Bancroft,
and it was his boat upon which Rickover almost got his head blown
So the story goes, Rickover was at Mare Island on some sort of
inspection trip. During the evening he decided to pay a snap visit
to the Bancroft, which was in the yard for maintenance. He
strode down the gangway, alarming the teen-aged topside watch, who
demanded identification from the elderly, civilian-clothed
gentleman. Rickover pushed passed him and was halfway down the
forward hatch before the kid leveled his pistol at the Admiral's
head and told him to stop or he'd shoot. Rickover stopped, and
watched in bemusement as the kid called in the intruder alert over
his walkie. In seconds the CO was topside, ready to tear the kid a
new one -- "Don't you know who this is?" Rickover all but
exploded out of the hatch, saying something to the effect of,
"Don't you DARE yell at this kid -- he's the only [cork] sucker
that knows what the f*** he's doing!"
As Bruce tells it, the crew did NOT enjoy their next ORSE!
So -- how 'bout some more Rickover stories, guys?
Great site -- keep up the good work.
Re: Electrical Quiz
Hey KP, It's been 20 years or so, and the cobwebs are kinda
clouding the vast storage of useless Navy trivia, but best I can
remember the biggest load was the RX fill pumps. I distinctly
remember those ammeters that went to 5000 - 6000 amps pegging every
time a RX fill pump was lit off.
KP Note: I don't remember the fill pumps
being one of the "biggies" but I was a rock LD.
Seems to me they didn't pull too much more than the two or three
charging pumps that also started during the same sequence. I
don't recall having to "reserve" space on their respective
busses during normal ops. But, like I said, I was a shitty LD
so maybe I was supposed to and never did.
'84 Pack Ports ...
Hey KP, The '84 WestPac was an especially uneventful one as far
as I'm concerned. 90+ days of going around in circles in the IO
(Gonzo Station?). Only ports we visited were Pearl Harbor, Subic
Bay, and Hong Kong (with stops in PI and Pearl on the way home).
Worst part was cruising by Singapore after months at sea, and the
captain (Lueschner?) saying something like "if you look off to
the starboard you can see Singapore. Of course, we're not pulling
in, but you can see it..." The Retention Prevention team had
fun with that one.
"Ike Dude" Remembers "The
Hello, I am "that Ike Dude" that said
that Arrgghhh was his hero. I wanted to share a couple things I
forgot to include in that first message.
I was told many different versions of the story of
the Big E running aground. However after reading the this site, of
course none of them were true. I was always told that some Admiral
was helo'd out to the Big E while it was beached and fired everyone
from the Captain the the watchstanders and everybody in-between. I
also wanted point everyone towards http://earth.google.com/
here you can download the Earth in satellite images. All you do
then is type in a place, such as Alameda, and it will take you
there. Some places are in very high resolution. I went to all of my
port visits and tried to retrace my vile drunken and disease ridden
steps. OH, speaking of that. KP, my first overseas port was Naples
and with that being said it was also my first foray into "the
gut" that you mentioned. Other than Asian dudes with guns and
one guy's ATM card being taken, it was not that bad. My memory might
be skewed by the fact that a guy was selling 40oz Heinekens out of
the trunk of his Benz for a dollar. The truly horrid things that happened
in Naples in my time was at the castle right next to fleet landing.
I guess no one told anybody about the evil venomous transvestites
that hung out there. So eventually a squid wandered in there all by
himself, only to be in Medical on the ship in a few hours have some
things sew up.
P.S. Is the story about Arggghhh and the mental
hospital on critical thinking? I think I missed it on this site if
it is. They tried to do that to me once, on my very final port visit
none the less. Good luck on the site and I hope to sit back and read
my more great stories.
MM2 Dupler firstname.lastname@example.org
KP Note: Some of Arrghs! best
stories are on the Crit Thinking Site. Be sure to sign on and
you'll have access to these tales, along with great conversations
with other ex navy nukes.
Not Just a Job But an Adventure ...
I haven't contributed in a while, so I guess I'm
due. The mention of the 'retention prevention' team having fun with
the fact that the Big E almost stopped in Singapore reminded me of
something. Does anyone remember in the 80s the Navy recruiting
people were big on that 'It's not just a job, it's an adventure'
kick. They had some TV ads back then where basically you would see a
ship in port in some exotic place and the rock guitar would hit a
few licks and then the announcer guy would fire off something like
'port call, Perth, Australia, you and your buds enjoying the best
week of your lives' or something like that. It seemed to me that the
ads might have tended to (shall we say) gloss over some of the
less-savory aspects of the Navy at sea/port call experience. For
example, this audience is fully aware of all the effort that goes
into maintaining at least some plant capacity online while the ship
is at anchor. However, these ads were directed at high school kids
who wouldn't know any better if someone gave them the impression
that when the ship pulled into port the guys just flicked a switch
and turned off the Rx and went to partyin' for a few days. So with
this in mind, myself and some RE Div buds imagined what one of these
ads would look like if they specifically attempted to recruit nukes.
Picture a view from over the watch officer's shoulder of the Rx
Operator. But remember this ad is not trying to hype how uber-technical
the whole Navy job thing is but rather to sell how great the port
calls are. So instead of the RPCP you would just have basically a
light switch like you'd have on the wall in your house. The RO is
kicked back with his feet up. Then the camera cuts to the ship
pulling into port. Then it cuts back to the RO. The watch officer
would say 'Shut her down guys. Let's go have some fun'. The RO would
reach up to the switch. Now we'd see the close-up of the switch. It
has a label that reads 'Reactor Master Control' or something. The RO
just turns the switch off and bails out of there. Next we see him on
the beach livin' it up. It worked for the airdale types, so why not?
Sincerely, Joe B from Ike
KP Note: I recall seeing a SNL ad parody
that showed that navy commercial but halfway through all the adventurous
stuff it started to show the poor sailors scrubbing toilets,
grinding decks and painting. It was pretty funny. (I think it
was on SNL. It could have been another TV show.)
Another USS California Nuke Stops in For
a Visit ...
My name is Bill Webster, I was in class 8301 section 1, I was at
INEL with my roommates Mark Jerrow and Charley Mahoney doing our
wish lists for our duty stations. Mark had a brother who was an Elt
on a sub and he was sure he would get "brother duty."
Charley wanted a cruiser out of anywhere. I wanted to go to the Bay
Area so I picked the Enterprise then the Carl Vinson. Mark said I
was nuts and at least I should pick a cruiser. I told him it
probably didn't matter. I got the California and Mark and Charley
got the Enterprise. I was right. Who else went to A1W, had the
Enterprise for their first choice and didn't get it? I bet they
didn't even read the requests.
Wild Bill Comes Aboard ....
Great site! I have been reading the stories in
here for a few weeks and it certainly stirred up old memories. I was
onboard from 1981-1983 in EM22. I currently work at Newport News
shipyard and am very involved with work on the Enterprise. It is
much better being involved from the civilian side! Please add my
info to the contact list. Bill Potocki (aka Wild Bill) email@example.com
This is for the boys...
I have hired many for my projects from this outfit
and they have real top paying jobs for power professionals and
Jules J LaMontagne, USS Enterprise, 3 Plant, West
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I'm one of those airdales that secretly read your
site. I was on Big E while you were (1988 westpac). I
was assigned to VA94 (Mighty Shrikes). You've been told this by
others but I'll add my bit as well. This site is awesome! I haven't
laughed so hard in years. To be honest I didn't give you nukes
much thought. We thought you guys were dorks and egg
heads. I wish I got to know you guys now. You certainly
had more fun in the navy then any of us did.
Industrial Management Degree
Just a quick note for the nukes, I'm completing a degree online
from UW Stout in Industrial Management. 1. You can do it all online
2. It's a good school - University of Wisconsin 3. 1/3 of the
credits are technical emphasis A school and NPS should cover most if
not all of it. 4. I also got my science credits covered by NPS Ok
its not a MBA from Harvard but I think its worth looking at http://www.uwstout.edu/programs/bsim/
Comes Aboard ...
Beam me in. Been 12 years since I was in RL
division, Eight years since I signed my non-disclosure statement and
just yesterday a nightmare about a spill.
Years 90-94. RL Div. MM1 (SW). Had to take a
commission cause MMC was not in my future.
ELT Memories ...
Recognized a few names out there so far. Lot of
memories when I can actually see beyond the tears of laughter.
Holy cow Mark Mchugh…last I remember you were up
Lets see, as I read the pages. I’ll talk the ROH,
not as bad as some have made it out to be, one incident comes to
mind and it was at the completion of SG Chemical Cleaning. Final
phase was to pump standard SG chemical laden water, agitate, and
repeat. Kinda like Apply, Rinse, Repeat. Lack of supervision and
collective stupidity said why are all of us here and proceeded to
nominate Dave M__gan (aka Kodak because a picture is worth a
thousand words and he could not shut up) to remain behind and
sample. Realize, Dave was having difficult time with his
Got a call at the house, about ten p.m. was
thoroughly soused and now I have to go back to the ship because Dave
was no longer at the shack but was calling results to the ship via a
pay phone outside the gate. RCA wanted to charge us all UA but Dave
took the grenade (several actually). Last I knew about Dave was he
was unemployed and shacked up with some chick in New York..
After the ‘prise, I was an instructor at NNPS in
Orlando. Female Nukes just started up so I trained a number of them.
I personally corrupted over 240 Machinist mates and likely
additional 600 via laboratory sessions. Beat a sexual harassment
charge. Shouldn’t tell off-color jokes involving genitalia to a
female student. I relate some NNPS stories but suffices to say…Damn
I miss the Orlando base.
I have two years to go. Currently in Mayport on a
Schmidty (ELT 90-94, Forward goup) and CAPT
Naughton didn’t flush me because of the faggot NRO rep but I
shouldn’t sample the primary by myself.
I read an entry from Dave Reithal (Dated 8/12/05)
that needs some correction. The fire in #1 RAR was started by a guy
named Dave Bockhouse. He was showing off how to "burn"
acetone off deckplates when it blew up in his face and he ended up
dropping a whole gallon of the stuff!!! He not only caught several
bales of rags on fire but also Sam Perez and Keith Pauly!!!! They
were in the RAR upper level behind some pumps (purpose to remain un
named). Myself and Eric Duden were on the CTG flats when Keith came
running by yelling "FIRE", well he was on fire!!! Dave
ended up de-nuked and went to the Gompers. Sam is in Texas and I
don't know about Keith or Eric. Incidentally, Jim Graziano
cross-decked to the USS California before we made our World Cruise.
Electrical Quiz Final Answer
KP, Damn, LD trivia. I guess I should contribute on this one,
though I think Scott Fullam was the best Load Toad in our days.
Windlass motors were the biggest, but used so rarely you didn't
worry about it. Aircraft elevator motors were used all the time and
were the biggest concern. I think they drew about 3-400 amps each
which we usually had room for, but if the mechanic started them too
quickly, the ammeter would peg hard and give you a scare. Over
sensitive EOOWs would then lecture the Aux guy to yell at his guy.
The other very common large load were the 2 big A/C units. 16 A/C
was the one we cared about as it was aft. I think the other big one
was #2. The rest of the A/Cs were much smaller and we didn't worry
too much about them.
Heaters were a big load, but again, not used all that often and I
have no recollection of how much they drew. Seems like everything
else was minor. Of course, when coming off shore power, we had to be
careful about separate power supplies for the RC gear.
And yes, the Captain never liked to lose power to LC510, which
powered the island and his elevator. Though I seem to recall that
Rocky let us run real drills rather than "simulated"
drills. Fake meter faces don't do justice to an SSTG dropping off
line under heavy load. It's probably all computerized now. I wonder
if EMs these days know how to parallel generators and balance loads.
KP Note: I forgot about those A/C units. I'm pretty sure
Scott Fullam was
sitting my in shop board and asked me to name all the big loads and
which LC they came off (softball question) and I missed the big A/C
units and something called a "viscous" pump. I think I
also missed the softball question about which LCs had the jet blast deflector water pumps on them (the ones that if power was lost to
during flight ops, a bad thing would happen).
As Rob says above, I wonder if today's electrical
system is more computerized on the ship. Do they have
computers parallel buses and generators these days, or is the SWGR
dude still tasked with the precision "hand off" of
reactive (KVAR) power needed to prevent damaging millions of dollars worth
of equipment? One funny story I recall hearing at prototype
was how the instructor told his UI watch to parallel #1 SSTG with #2
SSTG at "5 Till Twelve." (EMs from all eras of naval
history remember the thrill of getting their syncrascope running
slow in the fast direction and waiting anxiously for the moment
before the needle was at the 12:00 position (the "five to"
mark) to shut the tie breaker). Well, the instructor is
staring at the syncrascope and to his horror his student closes the
breaker when it's 180-degrees out of phase (the worst possible
time). The breaker shuts and is heard off in the distance
"What the f--ck did you do?" He yells. The student
says, "You said to close it at 5-till-12!" He says as
he is pointing to a clock. The time was 11:55
Passing Along Thanksgiving Greetings
Wishing you all a Happy and safe Thanksgiving!
A Quiz for The MMs
Here's a quiz that some of you MMs will surely know the answer
to. Where was the "hottest" (temperature-wise, not
zoomie-wise) place in the plant? What was the temperature there and
how long was a person allowed to be 'in there' to work (stay
time)? For bonus points, where was the loudest place inside
HOLY SMOKES!!!! YOU M-Div'rs Do Read
This Site! I had a 10 right answers to the quiz!
(Winners listed in order of arrival ...)
It's been a long time but the hottest place was on
the booster pump flats below the DFT. It was about 140F. I don't
think you could last more than 10 min. I don't remember the stay
time in the plant because we pretty much always exceeded it even
during a normal 5 hour watch. The average temp was about 118F when
in the Indian Ocean. I know the Booster flats use to burn my face
going down to read the gauges. The loudest place was under the
reduction gears at flank speed. Every noise amplified in the
catacombs down there.
In 3 plant, we always stayed pretty much under the
supply air vent above the Circ water pump suction valve limitorque
actuator. When they would do Mach 1 fly overs, the dust and dirt in
the duct plenum would rain down on our heads.
In '87 the yards were doing surveys on the extent
of asbestos lagging in the plant. They were planning on removing all
of it in the next yard period. 3 plant was ~75% asbestos. We had a
lagging fire once while I was on Cold Iron Watch. A welder started
it while patching the thinning condenser air box. We tried to put it
out but ended up cutting it off and dipping it in the garbage can to
Names I remember from 3 plant: Jagusch (1st LPO),
Nazak, Hurteau, Smith, Rivera, Murphy, Lonnie Long, Jamison, Geralds,
MMCS Bobof, Bell, nitro, saunders, brett smith, rodent, schneider,
I wasn't an MM but as PPWS I know that the hottest
place in the plant was the area behind the DFT on engine room upper
level between the DFT and the forward bulkhead. There wasn't any
ventilation there and I remember some using it as a sauna. I don't
remember any time requirements since it was so hot nobody on watch
would stay there any longer than the minimum.
Hottest place in the plant was the booster flats
under the DFT. I would say that 15 minutes was about the longest you
could stay there.
Let’s see, the loudest, I would guess would be
by the main feed pumps. Not only was it loud, but it was usually
really humid down there due to leakage and the bilge.
Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.
KP, Finally a quiz this dumb-ass old CMO has some
Periodically they would send a couple of Corpsmen
down to the plants to do heat stress surveys. (Not that anything
ever came of this.) They always made a beeline to the Hagan control
cabinet by the main feed pumps. This was a pretty hot area but not
THE hottest. I remember getting qualified ERLL on the 74/75 cruise.
To take the readings on the inboard side of the feed pumps the ERLL
watch would take a deep breath, run in to look at his gauges then
come back out to write the numbers down in the logs. Mid May '75,
shortly after we left Pearl for Alameda the ER cooled down
considerably. I set up a little stool between 1A and 1B main feed
pumps and stood most of my watch there because the rest of the ER
was just too f**king cold!
It was a popular belief among M Div types that THE
hot spot was the Booster Flats. The combination of heat, 100%
humidity and lack of ventilation in this area made it pretty much
unbearable to spend much time there. During my last ORSE prep I had
to assign cleaning/painting areas. I assigned myself the booster
flats. People commented that this pretty well confirmed the widely
held belief that I was crazy. Took about 2 weeks of 10 to 15 minute
painting sessions to get the area squared away. And the place stayed
squared away too since hardly anybody ever accessed the area. People
only went in there to start/shutdown the third booster pump when
going to/from a flank bell. I got the last laugh.
Most watchstanders congregated under the air
blowers. One day on the '76 cruise we were in the I.O. and someone
put a dial thermometer in the air duct just in front of the L.P.
turbine. Our "cooling" air was 99 f**king degrees!! And
that's where we went to cool off!
Also, back in the 70s there was no such thing as
"stay time" due to heat exposure. (Maybe on paper but
definitely not in practice.) You either sucked it up or you were a
pussy. And being a pussy was not an option. (Different times.
Loudest places? My guess would be the feed pumps
when below a flank bell and the main reduction gears when at a flank
I will put my out my answer on this one. As far as
in plant and temperature I would have to say that the Booster flats
in Engine Room Upper Level would have to be up there. I somehow
remember ~140F on the flats underway with a 15 minute stay time.
Feed Control was probably the hottest watchstation just due to the
proximity to the flats. Was the loudest place in the plant RARLL
during a Rx fill pump test?
Hottest: Main Feed Booster Pump Flats under the
Time: I don't Remember but about 1 minute was all
I could stand. Take logs and check the "Flow" on the Pump
Loudest: Main Feed Pump Alley
Remember the Heat Stress Monitors and how every
watch had to have a guy trained to use it?
I forget all the criteria for when the tests had
to be done. above a certain ambient temp every 15 or 30 minutes...
plotting the temps on a log and calculating "Stay Times"
in the plant..... It didn't matter there where times when temps only
a few feet from the "Blower" where 125 +++Degrees and stay
time was less than 15 minutes and we still stood our 4, 5 or 6 hour
Being an RM, I had limited access and
understanding to this space but I believe it was the Main Feed
Booster Pump Flats. Right below the DFT. Temps on this platform
could normally reach 125F and watch standers could only do work in
this area for a maximum of 15 min. RMs standing Feed control would
have to occasionally go to this platform to open and close chem add
valves to different Steam Generators.
The loudest place in the plant would have to be
MMRLL near the Feed Pumps and SSTG cond pumps. I am guessing though.
Jeff Strange RM23 and RM14 '92-'97
A quiz for the MM’s. Well, I must admit that the
booster flats were usually around 140F at any given time. However, I
do remember wearing a steam suit with forced air when we test lifted
the PORV valve in the pressurizer shed, which was pretty warm after
the lift. CTG flats was always around 110F and feed control was
about the same. Of course I can only speak for 1 plant. HAPPY
Al Decker 81-85
KP, The warmest place I recall working was the
booster flats. We always dreaded when a booster pump motor or
controller would die. That was a sauna! I have no idea how long we
were allowed to stay there...just before you pass out would be the
time to stand under the vent duct.
Ram, Tried getting on the site this a.m. via AO3
Smitty's page and got "account suspended". Is there any
other way to get access? Haven't been on the site in a while and
someone sent me the e-mail about the hottest place in the plant and
saw that PP had already submitted an answer with which l agree on
both accounts. l measured the temp on booster flats once with a
small thermometer and got 158'F. Our DFT Tl was stuck on 262'F for
the four years l was down there-reckon nobody thought it was
important enough to change it.
Steve "Willy" Wilson
KP Note: Wow, I owe you all beers when we
meet at the reunion. The answer to quiz was obviously the
booster flats. I was always led to believe it was also the loudest
place (not a nice place to be). I never got under the redux
gears during a flank bell, but it was rumored many a guy lost his
mind there. I also never was in RARLL during fill tests, as I
was usually in EOS watching the panels to make sure valves and pumps
did what they were supposed to. Believe it or not there was a
salinity cell below that DFT and us scumbag REs were often tasked
with cleaning the damn thing. I never complained about that
after I saw the poor EE30s boys down there replacing a MFP Booster
pump controller one day. They had the whole shop down there,
as no one could stand more than 10 minutes of the heat and
One Mo ...
Okay, the ELTs, EEs and MMs had a quiz this month
so how about something RC-related? Okay ROs, here's your chance to
Without being too specific, how did one calculate
SUR? And, for S&Gs, What was the SUR used for?
Name My Band!
The mighty Psychedelic Mooj is contemplating a
name chance. We get too many rejections of late (and we know
it isn't because of our music;) We're trying to come up with a new
'clever' name. We almost went with The Latter Day Sinners
but there's a band in Seattle called that. I wanted to use The
Exploding Mountains of Vesuvius but my mates think it a wee bit
too long. Any Ideas?
Our first CD is probably going to be called Volcanic
Wow, you RC types were lacking in the memory department! You're
gonna let the MMs kick your ass like that? Only two guys could
recall what a SUR was (and one was an RM). Here's the answers
rho-dot is the reactivity insertion rate
beta is the precursor yield fraction which is
rho is the amount of reactivity inserted
It was important during Rx startup’s because you
would trip out if it got too high while shimming out.
Best way to calculate SUR was with a calculator
(the charts just ended up giving us all headaches), and if you were
really good SUR was used to give the PPWO a heart attack at about 8
DPM on start-up
Bryan Edison Comes Aboard ....
Bryan "Special Ed" Edson
Reactor Labs division July 2001 - July 2005
Aft/Fwd WCR, 2 Plant LRPT extraordinaire
More RAR Fire Stuff ....
I too read with some sense of confusion about my
purported role in the fire in #1 RAR. I re-read it and was thinking,
“Now a lot of these guys remember names, dates, and events with
much more clarity than I do anymore so I don’t always question the
details of the stories, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t start any
fires in the plant.” I appreciate the anonymous correction to my
role in the conflagration, but must correct a small point of error…I
cross-decked to the Texas, not the California.
Regarding Dave Bockhaus aka Blockhead—He and I
were practically glued to one another for the first 4 years of our
enlistments. We were in the same boot camp company 283 and then went
through all of the same schools including S1W @ NPTU Idaho Falls and
ultimately to RM-11 together. Hopefully he shows up on your site at
some point…I’d like to find out what he’s up to now. He was
denuked (nothing related to the fire) along with Freddie Fresquez
and another guy whose name I can’t recall right before I swapped
over to the Texas. While I was in the Gulf for Desert Storm on the
Texas we pulled up alongside the Gompers and had to cross over their
quarterdeck to get to shore (not enough space on the pier) in Jebal
Ali. Jebal Ali is pretty much a god forsaken industrial area quite a
ways from the 24 hr party that is Dubai. As such they set up
volleyball nets and various other pier-side activities to keep us
occupied. I ran into Bockhaus one evening out there and walked up
and gave him a big titty-twister. How was I to know that he had just
had that nipple pierced in Pearl on the way out to the Gulf?
Here’s a moderately funny story that I was
actually involved with down in #1 RARLL: We were in port during the
SRA after the 88 Westpac. I was standing Charging Station watch and
Mike Lee (I think that’s the name) was down there that evening
with me working on chipping/painting in the bilge. He was frustrated
that it was such a pain in the ass to paint the bilge with all of
the brackets/pipes/etc. welded to the bottom. I suggested that he
pour a bunch of red lead into the bilge and then use the air line
(for the chipper) with a nozzle to just blow the paint everywhere. I
thought he would realize I was just being sarcastic, but he liked
the idea and I liked the possible outcome so I watched him pour the
paint and then climb down under the deck plates. I heard the air
nozzle start blowing and it went for maybe 10 seconds. Then Mike
popped up and looked like a Jasper Johns painting. He had red lead
blown all over his face and shirt. I remember finding this pretty
amusing particularly as compared to watching a Heise gage for 6
Additionally, my email address has changed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish I’d checked back in more recently. I read
that you were in San Diego and that’s where I live now. Hopefully
next time I’ll be more up to date and then we can meet for a
Memphis Nuke Checks In .... (with
Like the site, even if it is for a target. Just to make sure
anyone from Memphis visits, a few tid bits to say I been
there. Any one know where the cannon ball came from? How bout where
the records ended up during the search for them? And if anyone ever
runs into Bear, what where you doing when you had all those oil leak
A Christmas Story ....
A Christmas type of story.. I think it was the
Christmas of ’80, in PSNS, Bremerton. Standing watch as the 4
plant RO (of the shutdown RX plants) - we did not have SRO’s back
then. I was so tired and sleepy that I had my head in my hands
propped up on the RPCP shelf and was trying to doze off. The one
Source Range meter reading, taken once an hour, was taxing :)
Anyway, my head kept falling out of my hands each time I nodded off
so I got this bright idea- I looped some tape and placed it on my
palms, my left hand fingers covered the left view of my eyes to the
door and I propped my head onto the taped palms! It worked great!
During that microsecond just before you fall asleep, in that phase
that is somewhat like an out of body experience when mind is ebbing
and motor control is not there, I heard “Entering EOS!” Well, as
most know, that is only the prerogative of a few people: CO, XO, RO,
and the Engineer (back then), I “knew” it was Fish Lips (CDR
Hynes) himself! I wanted to move slightly to be alert…but I could
not! I was asleep. Like one of those bad dreams as a child where the
boogeys are trying to get you and you are frozen – I could not
move. That cellophane tape adhesion was like a superglue on steel!
After what seemed like minutes (probably seconds), I mustered up all
of my strength and moved it just enough for gravity to take over and
my head fell from my hands and I was awakened!
Who was it? It was ETCS(SS) Thompson, the RX Dept
Career Counselor who was the PPWS. He was sneaking cookies that his
wife had made into EOS for us “lucky” holiday watchstanders to
eat. 25 years later, and I still vividly remember that act of
A different EOS episode (just not at Christmas):
Many RO’s remember the 79-82 PSNS time as one
that had many changes for RO watchstanding. We went from one RO
covering two Rx’s to one RO for each RPCP. Many times, that placed
us with 8 or 9 RO’s on the shift covering the 8 watchstations for
full 8-hour watches. When you drank about 4-5 cups of coffee in the
first 1 to 1.5 hours of the watch, you had to be creative about
moisture elimination. Sometimes I’d “work-out” to sweat. One
time we had one of our non-quals, Jerry P (to give him credit, he
was waiting for an appointment to see the CO for a long time,) come
into EOS when I HAD-TO-GO. I told him to stay at the panel when I
ran out to a funnel on the CG flats. While he was there, and I was
at the funnel, none other that Ed Ruth walks in for an NRRO monitor
watch (Later, LCDR Ruth was to be my Dept. Head and I found out he
was not such a bad guy). He was sniffing around EOS when I barged
back into EOS. The SD watch (Oil Can Harry?) asked what I wanted,
playing along, and I think I said I wanted to borrow a pen and
promptly left! Later, Ed left and I slid back into EOS at the RPCP.
Later, they initiated the process to routinely check the Qualified
watchstanders list as part of their tours but by then I was ever
mindful of the closeness of being busted on a moments notice and to
plan for those head calls in advance.
Yes, many of us caught some lucky breaks,
hopefully we can think back upon them as character building
memories, ones that bring wisdom.
ETCM retired now, ET2 then
Another Christmas Memory ...
KP - I was just catching up on your site and noticed this post.
(About our 1999 Christmas Visit to Singapore). I too had duty on
Christmas during the World Cruise (nearly 16 years ago!). Singapore
was definitely not a holiday-friendly place, back then at least.
Spent most of the day in #1 Switchgear. It was the first time I
drank a whole cup of coffee, and the first time I remember thinking
of the Enterprise as home. Not a bad day, really.
A Former MM Corrects our SUR Equation
You forgot to put LAMBAeff (Reactivity) in the
numerator PLUS the Reactivity addition rate where LAMBAeff is the
Effective Delayed Neutron Precursor constant a measure of the
weighted half lives of the 6 Delayed Neutron Precursor Half Lives.
In the Navy they taught you the number was .1 (which is BS. It's
The Navy put this in the numerator PLUS the
Reactivity Addition Rate.
In truth the Navy wasn't entirely correct when
they did this. My guess is they wanted instantaneous SUR because
they included Reactivity addition rate in the Numerator. The only
time this really comes into play is the Exact moment you move the
rods. After Rob Motion strops and the Prompt Neutron Population gets
back to steady state the SUR Decays to some constant value provided
you're below POAH. I have no reason why the Navy did this. In the
commercial world we completely ignore the term.
Also, the 26.06 is a conversion factor that takes
into account converting reactor period (which is what engineers and
the BWR world use) to SUR and it also converts period from seconds
Commercial PWRS just take the 26.06 and make it an
even 26 because it's closed enough, also we used different numbers
for LAMBAeff depending on whether it's an Up power or downpower
Beta Bar also goes does as a core ages and makes
it a LOT more reactive!
Mike Brubaker (Former MM1 SS now just your basic
average Senior Reactor Operator/Shift Manager)
KP Note: Thanks for the correction Mike.
Since we're on the topic, would you mind giving a description of
what the SUR really is and why it is important from a commercial
operator POV. As you know this site (though deemed 'in poor
taste') is highly read by those soon to be operators training at
NPS. They are being taught that simplified SUR equation and I
doubt this concept really means anything to them 'on paper.' Maybe
one of you former ROs can share some memories from your first start
Christmas On The E
I got two Christmas stories this week (see above)
and thought, hey, how about others sharing their favorite Christmas
memory on the Big E? This site is actually filled with such stories
but if you haven't sent one in , why not share it now?
I'll give my best shot at an explanation for the
NUBs. First of all, SUR in a commercial PWR has the same
significance as for a Navy plant. I'm going to do my best to keep
confidential info out of it, but if you get an Email from the powers
that be kindly inform them stuff like alpha T and SUR are not
confidential concepts. I will say, I believe it's about impossible
to get the high SURs that a Navy; reactor is capable of in my
commercial world. The highest we ever intentionally pull is is 1DPM
and usually we're very satisfied with 0.5 DPM.
SUR is essentially the amount power changes in a
minute. One must realize it's in decades so it's basically the
amount of time in minutes it takes for reactor power to increase by
a factor of 10. It doesn't seem like much BUT I'll get to that
later. Just for shits and grins I figured out what it would take to
make a SUR rate of 9 DPM (which by the way is the highest
sustainable SUR below prompt critical. At that SUR the RO has made a
change of reactivity of 49 Units. Given BetaBar is 64 units you can
see it really is close to Prompt Critical. On the surface 49 units
doesn't seem like a whole lot, but let's see what it did:
Think of a 1 DPM SUR. Reactor Power increases at a
rate of 1 decade every minute. If for some reason a reactor had no
feedback and you were able to pull a 1 DPM SUR in the power range
you'd be at 100 % power in ONE MINUTE!!!! Think what a 9 DPM will
Shape of the curve. Assume the Rx is critical
below the Point Of Adding Heat. The RO pulls Rods to establish a SUR.
The Curve takes a step change up. This is because removing the CR
creates more prompt neutrons. It's called the Prompt Jump. As the
reactor operator continues his pull the curve takers an upwards
curve, this is the Delayed neutrons becoming predominant with the
rate of prompt neutron creation going down. When the Operator stops
pulling rods the prompt drop happens because he's no longer making
"new" families of Prompt Neutrons (this is when your
Reactivity addition rate disappears) SUR is not constant.
Why is it important? At first you might not think
it's important when that 49 Units of reactivity gets added because
realistically from critical to 100% power it will get added anyways.
However, the operator has to take into account how the reactor and
fuel behave. Most Operators know the POAH will turn power, and above
POAH the power follows Steam Demand (except in a BWR which is the
reverse!) For the POAH to happen the fuel must start heating up,
which increases cladding temperature which causes water to heat up,
which stops the power increase. One thing the Navy does NOT teach is
it takes roughly 3 to 6 seconds for any change in Neutron Power
(i.e., the reactivity you added) to be seen in the water flowing
past the fuel. Keep in mind until this effect is seen power keeps
So lets start at 1 times 10-E3 amps, where most
reactors stop to take critical data.
RO pulls to a 9DPM SUR.
about 40 seconds power is at 100% POAH occurs at
about 1% power and power went from 1% to 100 % in say 15 seconds.
Remember when I said it takes about 6 seconds for the fuel to
transfer it's heat to the water around it? Think about it, in 15
seconds it barely had time to transfer any of it's heat, and once it
does it still has to heat up the volume of the primary for alpha T
to do anything. There's really nothing to stop the power rise and
think YOU DID NOT EVEN PULL THIS REACTOR PROMPT CRITICAL!!!
The RO should always remember, even when he pulls
a nice slow and controlled SUR that the plant will react very
dynamically once it reaches POAH. The fuel needs to heat up, then
the Primary water. AS the water heats up it starts inserting
negative RHO BUT remember until it heats up enough power will still
decrease just at a lower rate.
For the Navy Baby ROs. A few good things to look
for to prove you are at POAH:
1: Power is the WORST thing to look at. The gauges
don't have enough definition.
2: Check Hot Leg Temperature first. This is one of
the best direct indications because it's directly after the water
exits the fuel.
3: Another I use as a great first indicator is PZR
Level. Almost as soon as you see PZR Level go up you know you're at
POAH. This is because as the primary heats up it expands. A PWR is a
closed system, the expansion shows up in the PZR.
4: Steam Generator Levels swelling. (This really
depends though on how high an SUR you pulled)
The bottom line guys, don't just rely on your
Power indicators as to when you hit POAH, depending on Xenon and
Primary temp conditions they might tell you lies. Look for things
like a T-hot going up, then a PZR Level going up, check your power indications
and they and SUR should be drifting down.
ALSO remember, you pull a high SUR (say 3DPM which
is still controllable) These effects will be more pronounced, You
might hit POAH so hard the accompanying heat up might lift a spray
valve, and your corresponding T-ave will be higher.
Hope this helped!
For the CVN 65 guys, How many damn rudders does
the CVN 65 have?
KP Note: Thanks Mike. Believe it or
not this site is read by many soon-to-be operators. I've heard from
many that they learn more than just how to steam (the drunken
version) by reading our memories. Many concepts just don't make
sense until you see it for real on a panel or see an actual turbine
spin. If any of you NPS pre-nubs want other 'concepts'
explained from an 'old salt's' POV, send in a question and there are
many who will be happy to give you help.
Oh, as far as rudders go, I saw 4 in Hunter's
Point. There's also one one the Capt'ns boat and one on that
thing the bos'ns launch for man overboards.
Christmas In The Castle ...
KP, Christmas '72. My first Navy Christmas. I was in Great Lakes
going to "A" School. They shut the school down over the
holidays and I took some leave to go home and spend a few days with
my family. I returned to Great Lakes on like the evening of 12/27.
The MAAs basically left Snipes Castle alone for the holidays and
left the inmates to their own devices. Snipes Castle was a zoo on
it's best day, but without adult supervision it really went downhill
fast. I brought some homemade cookies and fudge back with me and
after I shared this with some of my buds, I commented on how messy
Snipes Castle had become in a few short days. One of my buds said,
"Follow me." and took me to a different wing of the
building. Snipes Castle had these 3 man cubicles with one side open
to a central hallway. The 3 inhabitants of one cubicle had really
let the shit go bad. They had totally rearranged their furniture in
a way that didn't make sense. The floor was covered with a 2 inch
layer of comic books, newspapers, f**k books, food wrappers, food
and who knows what else. This cubicle had evidently become a sort of
a tourist attraction. People made it a point to drop by and have a
laugh. The 3 cubemates were actually proud of themselves and happily
wallowed in their filth for all to see.
When the holiday break was over the MAAs came in and did a major
zone inspection. It was funny to see words like "bizarre"
and "swine-like" used to describe the condition of the
barracks. What in interesting introduction to Christmas in the
KP, The only Christmas l can vividly remember
while on The Big E is the 1974 version. l reckon l consumed adult
beverages for all the others. We were supposed to pull in on
12/11/74, but due to some goings on somewhere in Vietnam, we got
extended (the first of many more extensions to come) and ended up in
a combat zone. l've tried researching in the past what was happening
at the time, but couldn't find anything significant. Every 3 to 4
days, the CO would tell us over the 1MC that we'd be out for a few
more days. Wherever we were, all we did was cruise around
slowly-don't recall any flight ops. Back in M-berthing, l recall the
shuddering of the rudder-it sounded like the noise made when the 6
Million Dollar Man would perform some of his fantastic stunts, but
with a much deeper tone. Finally on 12/24, we pulled into Subic. l
went ashore, found my honeyko, and bee-lined it to the Zanzibar
Hotel for a day of romance, thinking it would be a nice, quiet,
fun-filled day. Wrong! There l was intertwined with this gal, when
some stupid f**cking fellow American sailor starts his drunk,
raving, bad-mouthing of one of the hotel's employees. lt was
"you f**king flip this" and "you f**king flip
that" for 30 minutes or so, and again a few hours later. l
wanted to kill the son-of-a bitch!! But, honeyko gently coaxed me
into not leaving the room, and we continued our love-fest for the
remainder of the day and night, never leaving the room, not even to
eat. The next day, we got something to eat early and went to her
"house" and slept the day away. To this day, l would still
love to kick the living sh*t out of that ignorant asshole!
Steve "Willy" Wilson
Shmitty Returns ....
Glad I found this site, received an email the
other day from MMCS A—chey. Steve let me know he was still AD and
was back on the ‘prise. Cheers to a fellow ‘prise ELT. Brings to
mind my final year as an instructor at Orlando (NNPS.NFAS) and why I
took a commission.
My conversation with the detailer as I looked for
a set of orders:
“Mr detailer, this is MM1, yeah I am needing
<Detailer> Great Great, I need you back on
I don’t want to go back to the Enterprise. One
of those Nuke cruisers would be nice
<Detailer> Those are going to be Decomm’d,
I need you back on the Enterprise
How bout a Nimitz class then. I could go to design
school and then report to USS Harry Truman in New Construction
phase. That would be cool.
<Detailer> No, I will write you orders for
How bout this, I am up for MMC again this year
(fourth time). If I make it, would that open up other opportunities
instead of just the Enterprise?
<Detailer> That would be great if you make
it…certainly would lock you in for the Enterprise then. They need
Allow me to summarize the last five minutes of
this alleged negotiation for orders between you and I. No matter
what happens you are sending me back to the Enterprise and I take up
where I left off three years ago.
Not much negotiating here, make my PRD and EAOS
match and I am gone.
Initially I had a job offer for Commercial Rx
Operations for a plant in New York state. $70K starting back in ’98.
Put in my last commissioning package and was selected one month
later. Hmmmm take a commission or make six figure income in about
<My wife> “I love being a Navy wife take
the commission…….” I remember that statement clear as day.
Since 98 I have been a Geo as I change jobs every
two years. Every once in a while, wonder if Jody comes around, but
the informant (my daughter) certainly would let me know. No regrets
though. Seen some places I normally couldn’t have gone to if I
remained a nuke.
So the lesson is, “once you are on the
Enterprise for a tour…you have to continually return to her for
your sea tour. Must be a NR instruction on that. See it over and
over when I initially reported to her….guys would leave then sure
as hell you would see them back on board three years later. Tribal
Just in Time For Christmas ...
Never say The Humble and Noble KP doesn't care
about his fellow ex-swabbies. Is that space on your wall above
your work desk boring, missing some pizzazz or other such
excitement? Why not dress it up with a new Psychedelic Mooj poster?
What, you can't afford one... no bother.. I'll give you mine for
Here for your very own P'Mooj poster. Use it appropriately;)
Now, Now, Boys ...
Time to Ramble On.... Click
Here for Page 43.