21 1958 Large Ship Reactors As nuclear technology evolved, the U.S. Navy adapted nuclear power to surface vessels. To support this effort, Westinghouse constructed the first nuclear-powered surface ship prototype, A1W, which consisted of two pressurized water reactors powering a single engine room. A1W was the prototype for the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65).The prototype also provided realistic training for reactor operators in an environment nearly identical to what they would encounter within the actual carrier. As the program evolved, new reactor cores and equipment replaced many of the original components. Naval personnel continued to train at the A1W plant until the mid-1990s. “ Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous impatience. Once implemented they can be easily overturned or subverted through apathy or lack of follow-up, so continuous effort is required.” — Adm. Hyman Rickover