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Leaking uranium ship in "Nuclear Free" port

by murray bush - flux photo

VANCOUVER  - The MCP Altona is docked at Ballantyne Pier in "Nuclear Free" Vancouver after the crew noticed leaking uranium concentrate in the hold of the vessel.

The Ladysmith Chronicle has been monitoring the cargo ship since it left the Ladysmith/Chemainus area. The paper reported that Cameco, which produced and was shipping the uranium to China, now admits that at least four drums of uranium concentrate spilled during heavy seas.  The ship returned to BC after the storm west of Hawaii.

Saskatchewan-based Cameco issued a press release yesterday stating that "the MCP Altona has docked at the Port of Vancouver to replenish fuel and supplies. Cameco is working with government agencies to finalize plans for a full remediation of the ship's hold and determine the location where this will occur."

The release went on to say that "all the uranium remains safely confined within the ship's hold and the hold will remain sealed and locked until remediation activities commence."

Earlier in the week, Cameco admitted that "It now appears a number of the sea containers that held drums of uranium concentrate have been damaged and our team has confirmed there is some loose uranium in the hold."

The ship, meanwhile, is berthed at the foot of Hawks Avenue, a stone's  throw from the Downtown Eastside and Strathcona residential neighbourhoods. 

In the early 1980s, Vancouver City Council delclared the city a "Nuclear Weapons Free Zone."





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Safety first!

Don't worry, nuclear waste is completely safe!


Yes, I feel safe. As long as I didn't inhale?


Maybe this is just like that sell out Gregor Robertson reframing his "ending homelessness" to "ending street homelessness". Where as this is not "nuke weapons", but "just some benign and harmless urainium powder"?

Great coverage Murray!

Thank you.



Overblown As Usual

Before we go scaring folks, why don't 'responsible' media outlets mention that things like coal and natural gas plants constantly dump Uranium out their smoke stacks 24 hours per day.

This 'spill' and I use the term lightly as all of the Uranium is still on board the ship, pales in comparison to the radioactive release of every fossil burning power plant in the world doing what their designed to do.

Maybe you should mention THAT before you mention irrelevant issues like a 'nuclear weapons free zone.'  That, after all, would be the responsible thing to do.


Jack - maybe you should mention that you think everyone who doubts nuclear power is a fanatic - I do have a word for you - Japan

By 'Japan' are you refering

By 'Japan' are you refering to the nuclear reactors that were recently struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake followed by a 35 foot tsunami and yet not one single person has been killed at the plant and both the reactor and the contianment structure remain intact?

Maybe you shouldn't pop open the champagne bottle and celebrate the deaths of some 10,000 people just yet.  I realize antinuclear fanatics tend to be unethical liars who circle over any disaster like buzzards, but try to show some repect for the real catastrophe here - an earthquake and tsunami (not a reactor) that killed thousands of people.

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