NUCLEAR SUBMARINE Smashes Into Dockgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
This is from the Edinburgh Scotsman
[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]
HMS Sceptre Submarine ploughs into dock at Rosyth
AN INVESTIGATION was underway at Rosyth Dockyard last night after a nuclear submarine broke its moorings and shot forward 30ft in a refitting bay.
Workers panicked as the 3,500-tonne vessel powered into the dock at high speed during the testing of its main engines and prop shaft, tearing and bending steam pipes used in the generating system.
Damage estimated at thousands of pounds is thought to have been caused to the Swiftsure class Fleet Type submarine HMS Sceptre, which is nearing the end of a two-year refit at Rosyth Dockyard in Fife.
Staff at the yard claimed that the nuclear reactor had switched itself off and a sprinkler system automatically activated in the submarine where 12 men were working.
"Pressure caused scaffolding to buckle and the boat to fall off blocks holding it into the empty dock area," one said. "Men whove worked here for years say its the worst incident in the dockyards history."
John Large, an independent nuclear consultant who was retained by Plymouth City Council to advise on the development of radioactive facilities at Devonport dockyard, said the accident could have been very serious.
He said: "People could certainly have been hurt if they had been in the way of the submarine. It sounds as though it went into battle state. The fact that the sprinklers came on suggests the matter could have been serious and that there may have been a possibility of a radiation leak."
HMS Sceptre arrived at the yard, run by Babcock Rosyth Defence, for the Ministry of Defence, 18 months ago, and was nearing completion of her refit. The ship, capable of continuous patrols at high underwater speed and circumnavigating the globe without surfacing, is armed with Tigerfish torpedoes, and the Sub-Harpoon missile. Her weaponry had already been offloaded before berthing for refit.
An MoD spokesman in London yesterday confirmed the incident. He said it happened during basin testing of the main engines and shaft, using shore steam power.
He denied that the submarines reactor was involved in the incident and that the sprinkler system was activated.
He added: "On ordering minimum revs ahead, on remote throttles, the main engines oversped, causing the submarine to break its moorings. At no time were personnel, either civilian or military, injured, and at no time was nuclear safety compromised."
While an investigation was ongoing, he said routine work on HMS Sceptre would continue.
A spokesman for the Transport and General Workers Union said: "We are always concerned when accidents happen. Our first concern is that no-one appears to have been physically injured. The full details have yet to emerge, however, if the incident is as serious as the initial reports appear to indicate, we will be seeking assurances from the dockyard management that appropriate action is taken to ensure no recurrence."
John Ainslee, of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: "This sounds like a very substantial and dangerous accident. There clearly are implications for safety. It could have led to a chain of events that would have seen the release of radiation in the atmosphere."
Many workers only learned of the incident when they arrived for their day shift yesterday. One said: "It happened at 10 oclock at night over the weekend, when there was a skeleton workforce on. At maximum shift time, it could have been more serious."
-- Zdude (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 06, 2000
Now *this* is Y2K related! ;-)
Sounds like that refit isn't going to be over quite yet. But I especially liked the quote from this Algore in eyeshades,
"John Ainslee, of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: "This sounds like a very substantial and dangerous accident. There clearly are implications for safety. It could have led to a chain of events that would have seen the release of radiation in the atmosphere."
Heck, this thread "could lead to a chain of events that would have seen the release of radiation in the atmosphere". And Zdude would be to blame for the whole thing.
-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), March 06, 2000.