Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Brit Sub Berthing Plan Causes Concern, Hyperbole

A plan by the Royal Navy to re-institute the "Z-berths" around the UK (places where submarines can dock in the UK other than their main bases at Plymouth and Faslane) is causing concern among the nuclear-phobic portions of the British body politic:

"Stewart Kemp, the secretary for Nuclear Free Local Authorities, said people would not approve of the Navy bringing a nuclear reactor into their towns.
"There is a reactor safety issue, as witnessed a few years ago with HMS Tireless in Gibraltar," he said. "This raises the same issues as that of a community living next to a nuclear power station and it is not for nothing that these are in remote areas.
"One of the riskiest times for a nuclear reactor is when it is powering up and powering down, which is what happens when it comes into port."

That last sentence is classic -- a statement with absolutely no basis in fact, but which can't be answered by the authorities because they don't want to establish a precedent of discussing specific nuclear operational questions. OK, I'll give them "powering up", but "powering down"? C'mon...

The Brit authorities are also planning on distributing KI tablets to local residents (as opposed to keeping them in a central storage location), which doesn't really do anything other than make people more afraid (and make it more likely that people will take them pre-emptively when they hear the sub is coming into port, with accompanying problems among those unknowingly allergic to iodides):

"When a submarine comes into port, potassium iodide pills, which are used to prevent thyroid cancer for people exposed to radioactive iodides, will have to be distributed to schools and residents near the base."

And I love where they put this fairly important piece of information -- in the last line of the article:

"... in 40 years of operating nuclear submarines the Navy had never had a reactor accident."

Going deep...


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