The Rickover Effect; How One Man Made a Difference

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995. Fourth Printing [stated]. Hardcover. xviii, 411, [27] pages. Endpages have key dates. Illustrations. Appendix. Index. Foreword by Admiral James D. Watkins. Theodore Rockwell was a nuclear engineer who assisted in the development of nuclear-powered naval vessels. Since 1943, he had been involved in the development of nuclear power. He worked on the atomic bomb at Oak Ridge, Tenn. He worked with Navy Admiral Hyman G. Rickover on the Navy s nuclear propulsion program. He received distinguished service medals from the Navy and the Atomic Energy Commission. He received the American Nuclear Society s Lifetime Achievement Award, which is now known as the Rockwell Award." Derived from a Publishers Weekly article: Rockwell, Rickover's former technical director, has written a notable, rich biography of the controversial ``father of the nuclear navy.'' In 1951 Hyman G. Rickover (1900-1986), then a captain in the navy's Bureau of Ships, set himself the task of creating an atomic submarine. Four-and-a-half years later, USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear sub, joined the fleet. Rockwell explains how he accomplished this amazing feat. Rickover gave new meaning to the concept of industrial quality control. Rockwell provides examples of Rickover's ability to infuriate as well as inspire. Rockwell demonstrates Rickover's genius for getting things done. He relates the story of Rickover's enforced retirement in 1982 at the instigation of Navy Secretary John Lehman. If this work has a flaw, it is the author's failure to explain adequately why Lehman was so implacably hostile to the man who immeasurably strengthened the U. S. Navy. More than anyone else, Adm. Hyman G. Rickover made nuclear power a reality. Building on the scientific breakthroughs of the atomic bomb project, he created the nuclear Navy almost overnight, when nearly everyone else thought it was a pipe dream, and built the world's first commercial atomic power station. He did most of this in a single decade. Rickover's incredible ability to get things done won his program wide public acclaim and personal honors that included presidential citations, honorary doctoral degrees, and congressional gold medals. Despite all this, Rickover was the subject of bitter controversy and was twice passed over for promotions. In 1953 he was saved from involuntary retirement only through congressional intervention. Nearly forty years later, when he was fired as a four-star admiral, all three living American ex-presidents attended his post-retirement party. Now, for the first time, one of Rickover's close associates tells what it was like to be with this remarkable man day and night as he accomplished his miracles, and why he was bitterly opposed by so many powerful people. Theodore Rockwell, the admiral's long time technical director, takes the reader behind the "zirconium curtain" that protected the program to give an inside account of those turbulent times. Using on-the-spot anecdotes and little-known documents, he explores Rickover's methods and relationships with others to help us understand his strengths and weaknesses. The author describes Rickover's successes beginning right after World War II in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His account includes the first submarine voyage from Pearl Harbor to England to the North Pole, the continuously submerged round-the-world journey of the USS Triton, and the buildup of the U.S. nuclear fleet and the civilian nuclear power industry. This candid, insightful portrait could only have been written by a key player. The Rickover Effect makes and important contribution to the understanding to one of this century's most elusive personalities. From Wikipedia: "Hyman G. Rickover (January 27, 1900 – July 8, 1986) was responsible for the original development of U.S. Navy nuclear propulsion and controlled its operations for three decades as director of Naval Reactors. In addition, he oversaw the development of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the world's first commercial pressurized water reactor used for generating electricity. Known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy", Rickover's profound effects on the Navy and its most powerful warships were of such scope that he "may well go down in history as one of the Navy's most important officers." A naval officer who served in a flag rank for nearly 30 years – from 1953 to 1982 – Rickover was promoted to four-star admiral after 51 years of commissioned service. In total, with his unique personality, political connections, responsibilities, and depth of knowledge regarding naval nuclear propulsion, Rickover became the longest-serving naval officer in U.S. history with 63 years of active duty service. Rickover was the only person who has ever been awarded two Congressional Gold Medals. His substantial legacy of technical achievements includes the United States Navy's continuing record of zero reactor accidents, as defined by the uncontrolled release of fission products to the environment subsequent to reactor core damage. Condition: Very good / Very good.

Keywords: Naval Nuclear Propulsion, Rickover, Nuclear Submarine, Naval Reactors, Atomic Energy Commission, AEC, James Watkins, Harry Mandil, Electric Boat, General Electric

ISBN: 1557507023

[Book #84301]

Price: $100.00

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