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 ?