- S = Submarine platform
- 1 = First generation core designed by the contractor
- C = Combustion Engineering (C-E) was the contracted designer
This nuclear reactor was built in Windsor, Connecticut as a prototype for the experimental USS Tullibee (SSN-597) submarine, though that boat was in fact powered by a S2C reactor. Unusual for a nuclear submarine propulsion plant, steam turbines powered generators, which in turn powered an electric motor. This eliminated the need for reduction gears and their associated underwater noise. The USS Tullibee was an early advanced-design, fast-attack submarine constructed by Electric Boat and commissioned in 1960.
Throughout the Cold War, the S1C Prototype nuclear submarine propulsion plant at the Windsor Site (41°53'16.48"N 72°42'43.95"W) supported the submarines and surface ships of the Navy’s nuclear fleet by testing new equipment and training Naval propulsion plant operators. S1C was the prototype for the USS Tullibee. The S1C Prototype was operated at the Windsor Site from 1959 until 1993. During that time, over 14,000 Naval operators were trained there, including Admiral Kirkland H. Donald early in his career.
The Windsor site was located at 1000 Prospect Hill Rd. (the address was later changed to 2000 Day Hill Road) on a 530-acre tract purchased by Combustion Engineering in 1955.
Full cleanup of the S1C site was recently declared to be complete by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in 2006. Remediation of the site was undertaken by Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL), based out of Schenectady, New York. KAPL had taken over operation of the S1C site in the 1960s after expiration of the Navy's original contract with C-E.
The reactor was situated on land and known as the S1C Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU). Except for its size and electric drive, the system layout was very similar to the S5W reactor used in most nuclear-powered submarines at the time.