Berkeley Lab

ANP provides radiation detection expertise to USS Independence expedition

ANP and BeARING, Kai Vetter’s UC Berkeley campus research program, are participating in the historic expedition to conduct a visual survey and measurement campaign of the USS Independence for the first time since it was sunk off the coast of San Francisco in 1951. The USS Independence served in World War II as an active aircraft carrier and later as a test ship during the atomic bomb tests in Bikini Atoll. Following the atomic bomb tests, the Independence was brought back to San Francisco as a training grounds for military personnel to learn about how to manage an irradiated ship.

ANP/BeARING researchers and students are providing radiation detection expertise as part of the expedition team, ensuring the safety of the Hercules and Argus remote operated vehicles (ROVs) that are being used to survey the wreck.

Christopher Figueroa, a BeARING undergraduate research assistant working with RadWatch, joined the expedition team on the Nautilus vessel collecting samples from near the Independence and ensuring that the ROVs have not been contaminated from operating near the wreck using dosimeters and radiation detectors.

To learn more about the USS Independence Expedition, visit