US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says her country’s nuclear-powered warships are safe and reliable, and whether they visit here again is something New Zealand has to decide.
US submarines carry nuclear weapons, surface warships don’t but most of them are nuclear-powered.
No, they are not. In fact few ships would be ineligible to visit.
The US Navy has 289 ships, being:
- 11 Aircraft carriers – nuclear powered
- 10 Amphibious assault ships – non-nuclear
- 9 Amphibious transport docks – non-nuclear
- 12 Dock landing ships – non-nuclear
- 22 Cruisers – non-nuclear
- 55 Destroyers – non-nuclear
- 30 Frigates – non-nuclear
- 71 Submarines
- 18 ballistic submarines – nuclear powered and armed
- 53 attack submarines – nuclear powered only
The ballistic submarines don’t really do port visits. They sit under the ocean waiting to blow Russia up 🙂
The aircraft carriers are also very unlikely to visit NZ, even if no ban. They’re too large for most docks, and more to the point they tend to be needed in hot spots a lot.
So really the ban on nuclear power (which is illogical but is now “iconic”) only stops the attack submarines from visiting.
Going back to the NZPA article which said most surface warships are nuclear powered, it is in fact only 11 out of 218, or 5% of the surface fleet.