Need power? Plug in a couple of aircraft carriers. : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Thursday April 26, 9:30 am Eastern Time

Press Release

More Power To You Calls on Bush to Allow Navy Ships to Help Ease California's Power Crisis This Summer

Nuclear-Powered Ships Could Each Provide 194 Megawatts to State's Power Grid

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 26, 2001-- The rolling blackouts that California politicians and bureaucrats say are inevitable this summer may not have to happen if President Bush approves a request made today by grassroots watchdog group More Power To You to allow nuclear-powered U.S. Navy aircraft carriers to plug into the state's power grid.

``The people of California don't buy into the bureaucrats' cynicism that blackouts are inevitable,'' said More Power To You chairman and California small-business owner Peter C. Foy. ``Here in California, we write the software and manufacture the technology that fueled an information revolution across the globe. If we can do all this, surely we can find ways to keep the lights on.''

Foy noted that More Power To You's research shows that three Nimitz-class aircraft carriers now on the West Coast (the USS John Stennis in San Diego; the USS Carl Vinson in Bremerton, Wash.; and the USS Abraham Lincoln in Everett, Wash.) produce 194 megawatts each, the equivalent of a mid-sized natural-gas power plant.

``The power from just two of these carriers, plugged into the grid in San Diego and San Francisco, would provide enough energy to power a minimum of 400,000 California homes. These aircraft carriers can make the difference between air-conditioned classrooms and sweltering heat this summer,'' he said, arguing that California's power crisis constitutes a threat to national security that warrants the President granting the request.

``It's not only school children and seniors who will suffer in blackouts,'' he said. ``California manufactures and services much of the equipment and supplies for our armed forces. Imagine the setbacks to military readiness if the California Independent System Operator predictions of 30 days of blackouts happen this summer.''

Foy emphasized that his group is, naturally, advocating that the proposed hook-up of Navy ships into the state's power grid be done in a fashion that works into the regular deployment of vessels and does not impede the Navy's ability to defend U.S. shores or patrol international waters.

The concept of employing Navy ship-produced nuclear power to ease California's power shortage arose from a recent statewide series of town hall-focus groups sponsored by More Power To You in which the group asked everyday citizens what their ideas are for solving the energy crisis and ensuring a stable, affordable power supply for California's future.

``This is the first short-term solution to come out of those meetings. We've investigated it, and it's definitely `doable,''' he said, noting that a related finding from the focus group meetings runs counter to conventional wisdom about California and could have longer-term implications long after the Navy ships are unplugged from the power grid.

``For years, we've been told that Californians will never entertain the idea of nuclear power,'' he said. ``But we were surprised to learn that the people of this state actually say they would consider nuclear power plants as a part of the long-term future for California if they could be convinced of the safety.''

Foy indicated that More Power To You is currently investigating several other short- and long-term energy strategies that have been suggested to his group, and that more ideas will be announced in the coming weeks.

``For too long, the people who pay the electric bills and pay the taxes in California have been shut out of the discussion about the state's energy crisis,'' he said. ``Through More Power To You, everyday homeowners and businesspeople are putting forth their own workable, creative ideas to make sure California has the power it needs this summer and beyond.''

Foy says that the name of his group says it all: ``The people of California need more power, in terms of a stable and affordable energy supply, and they need more power in the process to make sure that California never again experiences this kind of energy chaos.''

More Power To You is a 501.c.4 non-profit organization, based in Woodland Hills, Calif. For more information, visit the Web site at or call toll-free, 877/99POWER.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 26, 2001


Not so sure about that being quite do-able.

Most Milatary items run on 440Hz not 60Hz.
This is not like running a 60Hz fan on 50Hz, and getting a ~20% reduction, this is like making things go smoke.

Also, what effect would this have on 'rapid deployment'????

Great idea, but I'd not want to see it implemented.

If they paid the national average for juice then just maybe they could ask.

-- (, April 26, 2001.

Navy Scuttles California Power Idea

Officials Drop Idea Of Connecting Grid To Ships' Nuclear Reactors SAN DIEGO, 11:12 p.m. EDT May 3, 2001 -- California officials considered tapping nuclear-powered warships to supplement power during peak demand this summer, but dropped the idea after deciding it wasn't worth the effort, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

Linking nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers to the state power grid is possible but would yield little electricity for the extensive modifications that would be required, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said.

"It would not be much of an advantage ... to go through that engineering," Quigley said.

California power officials approached the Navy in recent weeks about tapping the on-board nuclear reactors, but have since dropped the idea, he said.

There are four nuclear-powered aircraft carriers based on the West coast, two in San Diego and two in Washington, said Navy spokesman Cmdr. Jack Papp. In addition, there are six Los Angeles Class nuclear- powered submarines in San Diego.

Reactors that power aircraft carriers are less powerful than those used in nuclear power plants and, after extensive modifications, would only be capable of supplying about 16 megawatts for use on shore, Papp said. A megawatt can power up to 1,000 homes.

"Technically, it's not practical for us to do this," Papp said.

In addition, the vessels would unable to leave port for deployment, he said.

President Bush on Thursday ordered all federal facilities in California to cut power use, saying the administration was deeply concerned about the state and its residents.

Bush also said backup generators at federal facilities in California would be available during emergencies at the request of Gov. Gray Davis.

The idea of having nuclear-powered submarines help support the state's electricity supplies was among what one White House aide called "wacky proposals" discarded when Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force got down to business in February.

Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. california-75440220010503-220537.html

-- Martin Thompson (, May 04, 2001.

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