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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."