Skip to content

APTIM Completes the Dismantlement & Disposal of the SSSB

The decommissioning leader brought in $28.3 million to the economy of the Mobile area.

Mobile, Ala., Oct. 19, 2023 – APTIM, an industry leader in radiological and nuclear facility decommissioning, has completed the dismantlement and disposal of the Surface Ship Support Barge (SSSB) in Mobile, Ala. APTIM’s hazardous remediation experts logged nearly 237,400 hours to complete the demolition, working within a specially fabricated structure under strict environmental monitoring, with zero Occupational Safety and Health Administration lost time incidents.

“This was a first-of-a-kind project completed on behalf of the Navy, which used a unique interagency agreement between Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to facilitate the Navy performing this work in the commercial sector,” said APTIM Vice President of Business Development Chris Lee. “Not only did APTIM complete the work safely and by deadline, but we also brought $28.3 million to the economy of Mobile and the surrounding community for labor, tooling, supplies, housing/lodging, and other subcontracted services.”

The SSSB was a radiologically impacted dockside refueling barge converted from a World War II Navy T2 tanker, originally built by the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company, now the Alabama Shipyard. The SSSB received, held, and prepared previously used reactor components designated for ship-out or reuse. It also performed maintenance functions like those of a typical pressurized water reactor spent fuel pool, except for long-term spent fuel storage.

In 2021, APTIM developed, submitted, and received NAVSEA approval following NRC technical review and recommendation to approve a comprehensive Decommissioning Work Plan that provided the roadmap to safely dismantle, size, package, and ship waste material to a licensed disposal site. In 2021, APTIM took possession of the SSSB in Virginia and towed it 1,500 nautical miles on a heavy lift barge to Alabama, where it was removed from the water and placed on blocks for dismantlement.

Through detailed and complex engineering and planning, the SSSB was systematically dismantled, sized, and packaged for shipment, with more than 8,000 tons of waste material sent to a licensed disposal facility outside of Alabama and more than 400 tons of ferrous and non-ferrous metals recycled. Material sizing and packaging took place within an environmentally controlled containment structure to ensure zero radiological emissions occurred outside of the structure during demolition, sizing, and packaging activities.

APTIM received approval from NAVSEA based on an NRC technical review and recommendation to release the site. The final report and contract closeout are expected to be completed at the end of October.



APTIM is a leading professional solutions firm offering integrated environmental, sustainability, resilience, and critical infrastructure solutions for government agencies, commercial and industrial clients, and energy customers. APTIM commits to accelerating the transition toward a clean and efficient energy economy, building a sustainable future for our communities and natural world, and creating a more inclusive and equitable environment that celebrates the diversity of our people.

Connect with APTIM

Learn more about our nuclear decommissioning expertise and hazardous waste services.

    Subscribe to the APTIM Xchange Newsletter

    APTIM's newsletter, The APTIM Xchange, provides industry news flashes, regulatory updates, service spotlights, and topical columns from our subject matter experts.