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A3W reactor
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A3W reactor

The A3W reactor was intended for use aboard the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). This was a four reactor per ship design to reduce the cost involved in the construction and operation of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), with its eight reactors. Early in the construction, the Secretary of the Navy had the plans changed to save money and fossil fuel boilers installed on Kennedy. Because the plans for the ship did not include a smoke stack, the smoke stack on the Kennedy protrudes out from the ship at an angle. The return to nuclear power for carriers came with CVN-68 Class with the A4W'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.