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Warnings over scrapping of oil ship Kuito

Turkey – The Aliağa shipyard on Turkey’€™s Aegean coast has begun dismantling work on the major oil refining ship Kuito despite fears the vessel may contain significant amounts of radioactive material. A team of 150 workers is scheduled to dismantle the 350-metre-long ship within a year, yielding an estimated 46 000 tons of steel.

The vessel has been operating in the Angola area since 1979, refining 100 000 barrels of oil each day while boasting a storage capacity of 1.4 million barrels. At a recent press conference, it was alleged that the Kuito’s radioactivity levels are five times higher than normal. ‘Once the ship anchors in Aliağa, it will be very difficult to send it back to Angola,’ comments Baran Bozoğlu, former president of environmental engineers within the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects.

Recent tests, authorised by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority, concluded that the Kuito was free of radioactive material and hazardous waste but these were ‘unsatisfactory’ as they took only two hours to complete, he maintained. Government officials have promised that the dismantling process will be ‘watched closely’, including daily updates and monitoring of samples.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

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