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Atomic Lighthouse

In May 1964 the Baltimore Light was fully automated and became the first atomic-powered lighthouse in the world.  A small atomic reactor, developed by the Martin Company in a joint effort with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Atomic Energy Commission, was installed. Similar in size to a 55-gallon oil drum, the reactor was intended to supply continuous electricity for 10 years without refueling. Never getting beyond the experimental stage, the reactor was removed around a year later and the concept was never pursued further.


Official Coast Guard Imagery (click on thumbnail for High resolution image) Caption/ Historical Information
Photo of reactor being installed at the Baltimore Harbor Light Installation of the reactor at the Baltimore Harbor Light.
Photo of close-up view of the reactor during installation Close up view of the reactor during installation
Last Modified 11/17/2014