The Navy is conducting formal Judge Advocate General Manual (JAGMAN) and safety investigations to address lessons learned, and corrective actions to preclude recurrence. These investigations are still on-going and initial reports of their conclusions and recommendations are expected in the next two weeks.
Preliminary findings indicate the fire started in a vacuum cleaner used to clean worksites at end of shift, and stored in an unoccupied space. Specific details as to the cause and subsequent damage assessment are still being evaluated as part of on-going investigations and will be released at a later date.
Last week, the shipyard's workforce was authorized to return to work in the forward compartment to begin cleanup and support damage assessment as well as to continue work in other areas throughout the ship. Since that time, the first phase of the clean-up process, which included dewatering the ship and installation of temporary services (i.e. lighting, staging, etc.), has been completed. For the next phase, detailed cleaning, the Navy is pursuing contracted cleaning services which are expected to be awarded later this week.
The Navy has developed an initial rough repair cost estimate of $400 million, plus approximately 10 percent for the secondary effects (such as disruption to other planned work across all Naval Shipyards, and the potential need to contract work to the private sector). This estimate was developed so that funding can be identified to support the repairs, which would be accomplished at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. This estimate will be refined as more data is gathered and testing completed.