USS TRITON PARK

The USS Triton, USRN/SSN-586 was in service from 1958 through 1969 and has a couple of distinctions, the only submarine with twin reactors (one for each propeller) and, in 1960, made a submerged circumnavigation of the earth.  The circumnavigation of the earth proved the concept that a submarine and their crew could exist for long periods of time submerged, which is a prerequisite for the ballistic missile submarine mission and crew.  In 2007, the USS Triton was brought to this area for final decommissioning.  Her sail was saved and made into the centerpiece of the park visited today.  If you talk to the folks in the Port of Benton office on site, you may be able to arrange for access into the sail and part of the control room that still exist.  It is worth a visit if you are in the area.

Located in Richland, WA, the Port of Benton was originally part of the Manhattan Project, known as Camp Hanford.  In 1959, the land was transferred from the Corp of Engineers to the Port and today is known as the Technology and Business Campus of Richland.  So, what, you may ask …

The Hanford site started as part of the Manhattan Project, producing the material used in development of a nuclear weapon and continued in this capacity for the Cold War.  With the end of the Cold War and the decommissioning of USN Nuclear Powered Ships, the focus shifted from production of nuclear materials to managing nuclear waste.  To this end, the site has processed the remains of the decommissioned submarines and ships and become the depositary for their reactor vessels.  I know that somewhere in the open area shown, lies the reactor vessel from my boat, the USS George Washington Carver, SSBN-656.  In the submarine community, when a sailor passes away, he is said to be on eternal patrol.  This is where the nuclear submarine power source goes to rest in peace.

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