Located in West Milton, near Saratoga, NY, the Kesselring Site began operations in 1955. The location was known as the West Milton Site until 1968 when it was renamed the Kenneth A. Kesselring Site in honor of a former Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory General Manager. Kesselring was originally developed as a potential location for testing of liquid-metal cooled power breeder reactors, although none were ever built there, and the Site changed its focus to testing of propulsion plants in the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and subsequently for the training of Navy operators for these propulsion plants.
The first power plant at Kesselring went into operation in 1955. This was the liquid-sodium cooled Naval prototype for the second nuclear powered submarine, SEAWOLF (SSN 575). In 1958 the second plant, the S3G Prototype for the former submarine TRITON, was placed in operation. This plant and all subsequent plants contain a pressurized water type reactor. In 1958 the liquid sodium cooled plant was replaced with the D1G Prototype for the former guided missile cruiser BAINBRIDGE, which began operation in 1962. An advanced test platform, the MARF prototype, was placed into service in 1976, and the S8G Prototype for the USS OHIO became operational in 1979.
In 1991, as a result of the availability of other, more modern platforms that could meet the testing and training requirements, the S3G Prototype operations were ceased. In 1996, operations at the D1G Prototype similarly were ceased. Dismantlement and removal of the S3G Prototype from Kesselring was completed in 2006, and the D1G Prototype is in the process of being dismantled and removed.
Today the primary mission of the Kesselring Site continues to be to train nuclear Officers and Enlisted personnel to operate the United States Navy’s nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines. The two remaining operating nuclear powered prototypes, MARF and S8G, are used for training the Sailors as well as testing new technology before it is deployed to the Fleet. Since 1955, over 50,000 Sailors have trained at Kesselring.
Supporting the Nation Since 1946
© 2020 Naval Nuclear Laboratory