Why not NUKE those derelicts to smithereens? There are tons of as-yet-unused Pu lying around!!
May 1943 is held by many to have been the turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic. “Black May”, as it has come to be known, saw 43 U-boats destroyed by allied forces. That number that reduced the size of the German submarine fleet to levels that meant later convoys stood a far better chance of successful Atlantic crossings …
> Why not NUKE those derelicts to smithereens? There are tons of as-yet-unused Pu lying around!!
...because that as-yet unused weapons grade Pu is perfect to feed the next generation of long-life maintenance-free Thorium cycle reactors - which over their thirty year life will also turn it into much nicer stuff to handle, and also reduce the need to actually handle it at all!
On the other hand, really big bangs are awesome!
There is a WW2 shipwreck off the Isle of Sheppey, that contains 1500 tons of high explosives. It's marked as a hazard which is a good thing since if a ship were to hit it, or the wreck were to settle, the entire lot could explode triggering a massive explosion and a tsunami racing to either shore and up the Thames estuary. On the plus side, experts think the risk of explosion is "remote".
Not a fun fact at all: its a damn nightmare. But I don't think anyone has managed to come up with a better option than leaving it alone and hoping it disintegrates slowly without a big bang. If it starts breaking up in such a way that the risk of not doing something exceeds the risk of doing something then they'll need a rethink, but even though the actual risk is probably lower than that of using a pedestrian crossing I still don't think I'd care to live or work in the blast area.
The Isle of Sheppey is quite a long way from the City. I conclude from your comment that the evacuation of other parts of the Thames Estuary would be of lesser importance than evacuating bankers.
But as they keep telling us that at the first whiff of taxation they will all be moving abroad, couldn't we kill several birds with one stone? Tax the bankers, City soon lies empty, use the tax to fix the explosives problem, rebuild the economy of the South-East to something a bit less transitory than clipping the currency.
Could this not be The Register Special Project Bureau's next project?
While the Iberian department conquer space, Lewis Page can pop down the Thames, defuse the bombs in the wreck, and be home in time for tea and medals. Alternatively a really, really, really huge explosion could be entertaining.
As a bonus, it should make a nice flat space for the new airport to replace Heathrow. Which is probably much better on reclaiming some land to build an island, building an expensive airport, and then having a plane fall on this wreck and flattening the whole thing again.
"Ahhhh Mi Ladds, tis but a mere candle flickering in the cosmic wind. Think of all the fish we can have with our chips if we set it off. All those in favour, say Eye."
"Motion carried. Blow it up and bring the nets and rowing boats - tis a great deal we will be needing I tinks."
If they are worried about that ship as a wreck in the estuary - what were unloading plans if it had arrived safely? Presumably it wasn't going to be unloaded in the Port of London? Either way - in those days didn't they just hoist the cargo out of the hold by crane and bang each load down on the quay?
If kept dry and "packed normally" these explosives are quite safe to handle (Ofcourse taking some precautions to prevent stray ESD wherever possible). It's the "lying in salty water, piled in a heap, inside a rusty ships hull, undergoing chemical changes for 70 years" that makes these explosives dangerous and unstable.
No doubt an explosion of 1500 tons of explosives at the mouth of the thames would be a bad thing, but could it really produce a significant tsunami? Docks in Kent might have a bad day, but it would be really localized, no?
Pretty country - I drove through the area in the 80s on the way to Wales and had a great time touring Leeds Castle. Interesting that there's a major shipwreck just a half hour from there.
I believe there is a Hollywood film about to be released showing Britain subcontracting patrolling of the Atlantic during WW2 to the Germans so it is likely that BP or at least Britain was responsible.
Fortunately, there is a surprise twist at the end and America saves the day....
This film is hailed by US critics as being the most historically accurate film Hollywood has ever produced about WW2.
-- Britain subcontracting patrolling of the Atlantic during WW2 to the Germans --
Fair's fair. IIRC, a Standard Oil (U.S.) tanker was caught refueling a U boat.
The company claimed it was a rogue captain what done it, but I have to imagine a bit more security than leaving the keys to ships on a hook at the guard shack.
Don't know what the US is complaining about, the UK has about 20,000 wrecks in its waters with the possibility to pollute. No that is not a typo or made up figure! Sorry, not allowed to give you the source either although maybe the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will have it on thier website?
This is an old problem that many countries have been dealing with for years. It is quite an interesting area of work though.
There are wrecks left from Jutland? I always thought the Jellicoes firecrackers turned into confetti...
WWII wrecks loosing oil is an old problem. Norway has that problem with the Blücher in Oslo Fjord and IIRC Tirpitz in Alta Fjord. And quite a few subs sunken by the RN post WWII when no longer needed are just waiting to spill their tanks.
And the british policy post WWII to dispose of poison gas by dropping it into the North Sea hurts fisherman even today. Thankfully they did NOT dispose of nerve gas the same way.
Couldn't do it with redcoats and Hessians, so One Direction is just the latest move in a long history of trying to subvert the American way of life?
I knew there was a reason that Brits are always the bad guys in movies!!
(Actually, it would be interesting to find out how much of "Hollywood studio seeking villain for major motion picture--English accent required" is some kind of American cultural memory)
but should Canada shoulder some of the "blame" here? We built one of the largest navies in the world during WWII, and we sank dozens of U-boats, and not a lot of people seem to be aware. North Atlantic Run and U-Boat Hunters by Marc Milner are fascinating reading. Cheers, carry on then :-)
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