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Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL)

Our History

Established in 1946 in Niskayuna, NY, under contract between the General Electric Company and the Manhattan Engineering District, Knolls' mission was to support Hanford Engineer Works in the chemical separation of plutonium and uranium from irradiated fuel. Knolls' sole focus shifted to naval nuclear propulsion plants. Our liquid-metal cooled reactor design powered the USS SEAWOLF - the world's second nuclear-powered submarine.

Contract transfer

The contract was transferred to Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (1947).

Dual pressurized water reactors’ design and achievements

Knolls' liquid-metal cooled reactor design powered the U.S.’ second nuclear-powered submarine (Since the 1950s). Knolls designed dual pressurized water reactors, which circumnavigated the globe in 83 days; dual pressurized water reactors used in a guided missile cruiser; reactor cores that power aircraft carriers; reactor plants for fast attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines.

Innovation and next generation designs

Knolls led the design of the reactor plant on the U.S.' only nuclear-powered ocean engineering and research submarine; the newest fast attack submarines (VIRGINIA Class); and the next generation ballistic missile submarine (COLUMBIA Class).

A Rewarding Career

"Working at NNL as an electrical engineer has been an amazing, challenging, and rewarding career. I have worked in many areas of equipment design, testing, and training, and have worked side by side with Navy crews in the lab and onboard the ships. These experiences have given me the firsthand opportunity to see the impact my work has on the Sailors who protect our freedom, and the meaningful contributions that I make to the security of our nation."