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The A3W reactor is a naval reactor used by the United States Navy to provide electricity generation and propulsion on warships. The A3W designation stands for:

The reactor was intended for use aboard USS John F. Kennedy. This four-reactor design was intended to reduce the cost involved in the construction and operation, as compared with the Enterprise and its eight nuclear reactors.

Early in the construction, the United States Secretary of the Navy had the plans changed to save money, and fossil fuel boilers were installed on the Kennedy. Because the plans for the ship did not include a funnel, and to vent exhaust gases away from the flight deck, the funnel on the Kennedy protrudes out from the ship at an angle.

The return to nuclear power for carriers came with the Nimitz class's A4W reactor's two reactor per ship design. The reduced cost of building carriers with two reactors makes the cost of the power plants still account for just over half the cost of the entire ship.


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