Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
zip file 1.6 MB

The file(s) provided above are ZIP-formatted archives, which most modern systems can natively unpack. If your computer does not unpack the archive when you double-click it, you may need to use a separate decompression program such as UnZip.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback176 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

This book identifies and evaluates options for the disposal of U.S. Navy and U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) ships. Four options are considered: long-term storage, domestic recycling, overseas recycling, and reefing (i.e., the sinking of ships to build artificial reefs). The authors examined the use of private and public U.S. shipyards, international organizations, and partnerships between U.S. and foreign companies. The study took applicable environmental and worker health and safety regulations into account to arrive at estimates of the costs, benefits, capacities, capabilities, feasibility, and risks associated with each option. It found that the Navy and MARAD should exploit the experience gained in the Navy's ongoing Ship Disposal Program and the recently initiated MARAD program to dispose of poor-condition ships in the inventory. Such a strategy would reduce the current risk of ship sinking or other notable environmental damage. At the same time, this study also found that both agencies should initiate coordinated discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other coastal regulatory authorities to develop standards for reefing that will make it a viable, long-term option for disposing of as many of the 358 ships in the current inactive fleet as possible. The Navy and MARAD should not opt for overseas recycling; such a program would involve many impediments and difficulties. Neither should they opt for long-term storage, which entails high and uncertain costs and only defers, rather than solves, the problem of disposing of the ships.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Figures

  • Tables

  • Summary

  • Acknowledgements


  • Acronyms

    Acronyms and Abbreviations

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Long-Term Storage

  • Chapter Three

    Domestic Recycling

  • Chapter Four

    Overseas Recycling

  • Chapter Five


  • Chapter Six

    Analyzing the Ship Disposal Options

  • Appendix A

    The Fleet for Disposal

  • Appendix B

    Estimating the Amount of Recyclable Materials and Wastes in Domestic Ship Recycling

  • Appendix C

    Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Vessels

  • Appendix D

    Scrap Metal Prices

  • Appendix E

    Cost-Revenue Spreadsheet Model

  • Bibliography

This research was conducted within RAND's National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.