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bobliocatt

Mayport could be made Nuclear in 34 months

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Report: NS Mayport could be made Nuclear in 34 months

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By GREGORY PIATT

The Times-Union

A port study commissioned by Jacksonville earlier this year says it will cost the Navy $111 million to make upgrades to Mayport Naval Station so the base can homeport a nuclear-powered carrier, according to the report's summary.

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The report's summary, dated April 8 and obtained by the Times-Union, says the environmental compliance, design, construction, installation of equipment and certification could be done in 34 months if put on the fast track by the Navy.

The study was conducted since January by Bessent, Hammack & Ruckman Inc. of Jacksonville, consulting-engineering firm with expertise in shore facility planning and site development engineering for fleet and naval facilities.

BHR had also conducted a site development study for homeporting a nuclear carrier at Mayport in the mid-1990s.

Jacksonville began searching last fall for money to fund a study about the effort and costs of making Mayport a homeport for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. That was before it would learn the Pentagon wanted to decommission the USS John F. Kennedy, the only aircraft carrier based in Jacksonville.

In November, Jacksonville officials learned a state grant would provide $125,000, with the stipulation that the city kick in $50,000 and finish the study by May. The Mayor's Office and City Council each found $25,000 for the study.

greg.piattjacksonville.com, (904) 359-4169

This story can be found on Jacksonville.com at http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor...t_mayport.shtml.

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I'm all for the Federal government cutting back spending, but a second nuclear Navy port on the East Coast makes a lot of strategic sense. The Navy doesn't want to keep all their East Coast ships in one place - we learned our lesson from Pearl Harbor.

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