Sunday, March 29, 2009

Queensland oil spill, more toxic fall out

Well, the containers of ammonium nitrate which were lost overboard from the Pacific Adventure during bad weather caused by TC Hamish a couple of weeks ago have been found. (Includes photo.)

The Royal Australian Navy says it has found 24 of the 31 shipping containers lost by the Pacific Adventurer cargo ship off Brisbane.

Navy minehunters HMAS Yarra and HMAS Norman were dispatched to Moreton Bay after the containers, which held ammonium nitrate, were swept overboard in rough seas whipped up by Cyclone Hamish last month.
And there's been a bit more fall out from the clean up of the oil spill...

The news item is interesting, you feel sympathetic to this bloke who has had toxic oil mixed in sand dumped on his million dollar seaside block. Look at the picture, read the comments... what do you think?

Oil spill clean up methods vindicated by Exon investigator.

The chief chemical investigator into the Exxon Valdez has vindicated the Queensland Government's response to the oil spill in Moreton Bay two weeks ago.
Read more here.


Hamish reef damage

Garrett to repair

Hamish damage affects fishery on reef, no compensation or financial support for fishermen.

I guess we'll just have to stop cyclones, huh?


Bruce in Qld said...

And of course "our" ABC" made such a valuable contribution on Friday 27th:

The presenter of the morning programme was foaming at the mouth about all that "dangerous ammonium nitrate" at the bottom of the ocean.

Real person after real person tried to tell her that it was perfectly safe where it was, but no, our fearless "Personality" would have none of that.

Rudimentary grade 9 chemistry: ALL nitrates are soluble. The stuff is often transported as follows: sealed in a plastic bag, this is then placed in a heavy cardboard (sometimes plasticised) barrel with a wooden lid and usually with silica gel bags thrown in for good measure.

So what will happen when all this goes into the big blue wet thing?

Not much. At anything more than about 60ft, the water pressure will start to breach the container's seals. After that it is just a matter of time before the cardboard barrels start to fall to bits. It could take months or years for the plastic bags to be breached, but when they are, the water will dissolve the contents.

It will then take a considerable amount of time for the dissolved fertiliser to leech into the ocean through the small gaps in the slowly rusting container. This miniscule leakage will then be massively diluted as it is carried north by the prevailing ocean currents.

Ammonium nitrate is NOT an explosive. It is an oxidising agent that acts as a plant fertiliser due to its containing a large proportion of Nitrogen.

It can be used to make explosives. However, it is very bulky for the bang and needs correct initiation to achieve worthwhile results. However, as shown in Oklahoma, nothing succeeds like excess.

This stuff is totally safe lying where it is. Empty containers that float about 3 feet under the surface and rip the bottoms out of sailing yachts are a greater worry.

kae said...

Hi Bruce

But the fish, the fish... and
The reef, the reef...

Did you see the damage to the reef caused by Hamish? Some of the fishermen there are very concerned that their catch is very low because the fish have gone.

Google reef damaged by Hamish...
Peter Garrett is apparently going to fix it. (I'll stick a link on the post.)

The fishermen won't get any compensation because of the type of work they

Minicapt said...

Someone needs to teach his kids how to forage properly, and not to eat yellow dirt ...


kae said...

yellow dirt that glows in the dark

or yellow snow for that matter (not that we gettalotta snow in Queensland).

Egg said...

"The presenter of the morning programme was foaming at the mouth about ..."

Is there an Urban Dictionary entry for such clueless outrage - usually by technologically inept leftards? (South Park must have something on it?)

'tardrage, perchance?