USS Enterprise completes its final voyage

In this photo provided by the Navy Visual News Service, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) arrives Friday, July 15, 2011 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (AP Photo/Navy Visual News Service, MC2 Rafael Martie)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is shutting down its reactors as its storied career comes to a close.

The USS Enterprise finished its 25th and final deployment on Sunday when it returned to its home port in Norfolk, Va.

After more than 50 years of service that spanned the globe, the ship will never move on its own power again. The ship's fuel will be removed in Virginia, and then it will eventually be towed to Washington state to be scrapped.

The Enterprise is the Navy's second-oldest ship, after the USS Constitution. It has participated in every major conflict since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and its airplanes targeted insurgents in Afghanistan during its last deployment.

Thousands of veterans are expected to attend its deactivation ceremony on Dec. 1.