A little Light Reading.

 

Behind the Headlines.

To be a really effective campaigner one has to read a lot, and that means getting away from what’s printed as the headline news.

Here is just a sample of what I have been reading of late.

 

New Build.

A good example of this is what has been in the press over the last couple of weeks concerns new build at Hinkley.

Despite all the headlines about the UK and Chinese governments signing a deal to built a new reactor at Hinkley, it is far from a done deal. EDF have still to sign such a deal, and there are lots of obstacles which need to be completed before any such contract can come in to force.

As to the whizzo idea of building a new reactor at Bradwell, well that’s another none starter. Just look that the flood map for the area, and then think about rising sea levels.

Thus the headline should have been: –

Hinkley and Bradwell.

It’s all smoke and Mirrors.

 

The Atlantic Cartier.

During October the

Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchung

[ Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation ]

published the following: –

Investigation Report 99/13  Serious Marine Casualty Fire on the con-ro carrier.

ATLANTIC CARTIER on 1 May 2013 in the Port of Hamburg

At the time of the fire the ship was carrying uranium hexafluoride (UF6), and flammable ethanol as a part of the cargo.

– Uranium Hexafluoride is highly toxic.

– Uranium Hexafluoride is corrosive to most metals.

– Uranium Hexafluoride reacts violently with water.

– Uranium Hexafluoride is radioactive.

The transport of Hex is one of the most worrying concerns which we should all have.

Meanwhile there are are growing worries about the Uranium Hex which is to be found at Capenhurst, and aspect of the proposed sale of Urenco.

 

The Pitchford Inquiry.

The Pitchford Inquiry in to Undercover Policing started in July.

A first preliminary hearing took place on October 7th . 

While the Sixth Preliminary Hearing be heard during March.

The inquiry will last for circa two and a half years.

It will cover many of the questions which activists have been asking for a long time, but just how many of the answers we receive is very much an open question for now.

 

New Information About The Atlantic Cartier.

There is new information about what was on board the Atlantic Cartier while is was on fire in Hamburg Harbour last May.

It contained: –
– 3.8 tonnes of ammunition,
– 180 tons of explosive ethanol,
– 8.9 tons of uranium hexafloride,
&
– 11 tons of unused, fresh uranium fuel rods.

None of the news reports about the fire mentioned anything about these fuel rods, as this infomation was not made public until a couple of weeks later, and is only available now thanks to a translation of a recent news story which was published in the HAMBURG taz.

All of which raises some very important questions which do need to be addressed.

Yet Bibby Ship management refuse to discuss anything about the ACL ships which they manage.

Enough [ Not ] said I’m thinking.

Just Like { Not } In The Movies

Just Harmless – Just.

One of the best things about disaster movies is that you know it’s all fiction, and that’s why it’s safe to enjoy them.

This is even so when you know that what they show could well happen.

For example: –

Flood.

The Towering Inferno.

The China Syndrome
.

Sinking of Japan

The Day After Tomorrow

&

Unstoppable

Just Possible.

On course there are still disaster out their waiting to happen.

What if Richard Mongomery were to roll free ?

Now that would really make for a really powerful disaster movie, but what’s really needed is for some kind of way in which to stop such a disaster happening in the first place

Just Happened.

Here is another idea for a another near disaster movie.

The Atlantic Cartier fire in Hamburg harbour.

With the German fire fighters as the heroes.

While ACT and  Bibby management would be cast as the villains.

Not that such a movie would get started, as the lawyers for both Bibby & ACT would prevent such a film from ever come in to production.

As the fire happened in Germany there has been no Hollywood interest in it.

Yet if this had happened in New York then it might well be another matter.

Just What Might Happen Next.

Every nukiller power plant,  and every movement of nukiller materials represents a potential disaster.

Now I don’t want to see anything about them in disaster movie.

What I want to see is these plants closed down in order to prevent any more nukiller disasters.

Of Late.

Over the last few months I’ve been working upon a couple of campaigns which have taken up a lot of my time.

The first of these is the Close Capenhurst Campaign.

The other concerns the Atlantic Cartier, which is owned by the Atlantic Container Line [ ACL ], and  managed by Bibby Ship Management.

I’ve also been co-editing the latest issue of Information For Social Change.

Next weekend I’ll be at Heysham.

Recent Activities

Sometimes it might seem like I’ve not been doing much of late, but this is not the case.

I’ve just had an article about my world view published on the Liverpool CND website.

While a lot of my time have been spent upon setting up the Atlantic Cartier Campaign.

Right now I’m putting together a piece about the Military & Arms Trade dangers which come from 3D printing.

So as we say – More Anon.

Mapping The Unknown.

Not Covered.

There is a remark I keep hearing while talking with people about Fukushima and the radioactive pacific:
‘ I’ve not heard about that before now’.

This is no surprise as very little is being published in the worlds media about the ongoing disaster at the plant.

Yet should this come as a surprise to most of us ?

Not Known.

I’ve not seen any reports coming out of North Korea about the issue, and just don’t expect to see any.

Neither have I seen any reports coming out of China, or the Russian Federation.

Logically: –

– If the damaging effects of radioactive exposure are being felt around Alaska, then something similar should be going on along the coasts of Eastern Siberia.

&
– I would also assume that similar biological damage is happening around the earthquake pron coasts of the Kuril Islands.

So where are these reports to be seen?

Mapping it Out.

I’ve been looking at a lot of maps of late.

These are the maps which show the sea currents which goes up though the Bering strait, in to the Chukchi sea, and around the Antarctic Ocean.

Looking at these maps it would seem logical that some of the radioactive material from Fukushima is or has entered in to this region of the world.

This being so: –

Then a part of it will soon start to flow south in to the North Atlantic.

What Comes Next?

We just don’t know.

Yet consider the following: –

The ice in the Antartic is melting as a result of climate change, and many new sea routes are being opened up.

This sea melting might well start to effect ocean currents, and thus the global circulation of radioactivate material from Fukushima.

As to the when and how of this: –

We just don’t know.

What I do know is that there is a lot more which we need to know, both in order to find out just what is going in the North Eastern Pacific, and thus the Antartic Ocean.

All else can only be educated guesses and speculation.

20 Deficiencies On Atlantic Cartier Inspections.

As I write the Atlantic Cartier is back in the port of Liverpool.

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have just issued a press statement about the ship.

‘ NFLA alarmed about docking of Atlantic Cartier in Liverpool less than four months after it was involved in a major fire involving radioactive materials.’

A key feature of this statement is a list of 20 deficiencies which have been recorded on International Port State Control Inspections.

This in turn raises yet more interesting questions, but more on them anon.

Next Destination – Antwerp

The Atlantic Cartier is now in European waters and sailing towards Antwerp.

Last week the ship stopped off in Liverpool,
and the following press release was issued by Merseyside CND.

Explosives and Uranium hexafluoride fire ship arrives back in Liverpool.

Steaming towards the Port of Liverpool at this very moment is the Swedish owned Ro-ro/container carrier, the Atlantic Cartier.  Questions hang over this ship as to  just how safe it is bearing in mind that on May 1st while in the Port of Hamburg it was seriously damaged when it went up in flames.

The ship’s cargo included 9 tons uranium hexafluoride ( UF6 ), destined for the Areva owned uranium-enriching plant at Lingen, Lower Saxony. Also included in the cargo were four tonnes of explosives, and 180 tons of flammable ethanol. When UF6 is exposed to moist air, it reacts with the water in the air to produce UO2F2 (uranyl fluoride) and HF (hydrogen fluoride) both of which are highly corrosive and toxic.

If the ship had exploded, then a cloud  of the uranium hexafluoride might have been released into the atmosphere with all sorts of damaging consequencies for the Port workers and surrounding neighbourhood.

Following on from the fire the ship was repaired, and went to the Port of Liverpool and then onto
Halifax,Nova Scotia, New York, Baltimore, and Norfolk, Virginia.

It is due back in Liverpool at approximately 3am tomorrow morning.

We wonder if the Port of Liverpool authorities are aware of the Atlantic Cartier’s potentially dangerous cargo and what measures have they put in place to inform and protect the workforce and nearby population.’

The last few days.

On the weekend the ship stopped over in Hamburg were it was welcomed with a demonstration.

When the ship left port it was under  ‘police protection’.

Unanswered Questions.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about just what has happened with the ship.

They include: –

– Just what kind of repairs took place on the ship?

– What kind of safety inspection & safety certification has it now been given?

– Have any modifications been made to just what the ship is allowed to carry on board?

– Just what kind of cargo does the ship now have on board?

– Will there be any need for the ship to be isolated from the main harbour when it arrives in port?

–  What kind of fire inspection has there been since May ?

&

– What kind of extra security is given to the ship if it carries such an deadly cargo on a regular basis?

What needs to be done.

Of course we only know about such dangerously mixed cargoes sailing around the globe because of the fire on the Atlantic Cartier.  We just don’t know how any others there may be.

What we really need is a ban on Uranium and explosive materials being carried on the same ships.

It’s time to tighten up the shipping regulations.

Following On From The Fire.

Following on from the fire upon the Atlantic Cartier in May.

The ship has been repaired.

Since then she has sailed to Antwerp, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and New York.

It recently put in to the port of Liverpool, but no one was aware about this until after the ship had moved on.

The ship is currently sailing back towards Halifax,  Nova Scotia, and will then continue to New York,  Baltimore,  and Norfolk, Virginia.

The Atlantic Cartier is owned by the Atlantic Container Line, and is classed as being a: ‘ Roll On Roll Off With Container Capacity.’

There are still many open questions about just what kind of goods the ship has carried in the past, or will be carrying in the future?

Up In Flames.

Fire!

The ATLANTIC CARTIER is a Swedish owned Ro-ro/container carrier which was built during 1985.

At present it is in port at Hamburg, and was scheduled to be sailing on to Antwerp.

But . . . .

On May 1st the ship became seriously damaged as it went up in flames.

The ships cargo included 9 tons uranium hexafluoride ( UF6 ),
which was destined for the Areva owned uranium-enriching plant at Lingen, Lower Saxony.

Also included in the cargo were four tonnes of explosives, and 180 tons of flammable ethanol.

Explosions and Toxic Clouds.

If the ship had exploded, then a cloud  of the uranium hexafluoride might of been released in to the atmosphere.

Here is a quote from  wikipedia which will give you some idea as to what would of happen next:-

‘ When UF6 is exposed to moist air, it reacts with the water in the air to produce UO2F2 (uranyl fluoride) and HF (hydrogen fluoride) both of which are highly corrosive and toxic. ’

One can only speculate about just what else might of happened next – ? ? ?

As you might imagine there has been a lot of concerns about this issue both within Hamburg, and throughout the world.

It will be very interesting to read the inquiry report as to just how this accident came about, and just why the boat was allowed to carry such a mixture of dangerous materials.

On the High Seas – – –

In the meanwhile: –

Here is a link to the International Maritime Organisation ( IMO ) resolution upon  INTERNATIONAL MARITIME DANGEROUS GOODS.

While I’m left wondering just how many ships with such a dangerous mixture of highly dangerous cargoes are currently to be found sailing upon the high seas, and just which ports they visit on a regular basis ?