Pressure from House lawmakers to make more of the Navy’s ships nuclear-powered is generating some concern among U.S. shipbuilders and the Navy. They worry that the move would put more pressure on a tight budget and add instability to an already struggling industry.
Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee, has been leading the charge to compel the Navy to fuel its next-generation cruisers, large amphibious ships and destroyers with nuclear power.
Only submarines and aircraft carriers now operate by nuclear propulsion.
Taylor has attracted bipartisan support for his idea in the House, including the key endorsement of Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.). But the Mississippi Democrat is expected to face continued resistance from senators who believe the Navy cannot afford the switch.