Author Topic: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap  (Read 570 times)

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Online Desert Fox

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Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« on: May 08, 2017, 05:10:43 AM »
This was a pretty weird one and at first a bit skeptical it could happen

https://www.outsideonline.com/2168646/how-does-entire-shipwreck-disappear-bolts-and-all

Decided to go look for other sources though and found one from the Guardian which I believe is suppose to be pretty reliable
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/16/british-second-world-war-ships-illegal-scavenging-java-sea

The operation to completely haul away 6,000 to 8,000 ton cruisers is pretty impressive.
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Online Rai

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 05:24:11 AM »
This is a topic that gets even more fascinating the deeper you dig.

One of the main reasons why people are doing it is the value of so-called low-background steel, which I have never even heard about before the stolen wrecks hit the news.

Basically, all the nuclear tests since the end of WWII have contaminated all steel that was produced and is being produced since, making it unusable for producing stuff that are sensitive to radionuclides.

The best source of such steel: WWII shipwrecks. You can get a LOT of money for a cruisers' worth of low-background steel, which makes mounting an illegal salvage operation very lucrative.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 09:41:53 AM »
Curious

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 10:13:45 AM »
I think they've found a way to float the wrecks without too much work.

Maybe ping pong balls?
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 10:40:21 AM »
I think they've found a way to float the wrecks without too much work.

Maybe ping pong balls?
I believe with new wrecks they can inflate balloons inside the hull, I'd think that would be problematic with a ship exposed to salt water for 70+ years.

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 10:46:08 AM »
I think they've found a way to float the wrecks without too much work.

Maybe ping pong balls?
I believe with new wrecks they can inflate balloons inside the hull, I'd think that would be problematic with a ship exposed to salt water for 70+ years.
True, but the ones that don't are worth it, apparently.

Flipside: If we find wrecks dislocated and with the main decks blown out we might be more inclined to believe this is what's causing the movement/damage. Until we do, however, it's just a SWAG.
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 11:13:56 AM »
This is a topic that gets even more fascinating the deeper you dig.

One of the main reasons why people are doing it is the value of so-called low-background steel, which I have never even heard about before the stolen wrecks hit the news.

Basically, all the nuclear tests since the end of WWII have contaminated all steel that was produced and is being produced since, making it unusable for producing stuff that are sensitive to radionuclides.

The best source of such steel: WWII shipwrecks. You can get a LOT of money for a cruisers' worth of low-background steel, which makes mounting an illegal salvage operation very lucrative.

That's really interesting, but I'm not sure I understand why processing scrap wouldn't introduce as much radioactive contamination as the initial processing of ore.
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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 12:24:42 PM »
This is a topic that gets even more fascinating the deeper you dig.

One of the main reasons why people are doing it is the value of so-called low-background steel, which I have never even heard about before the stolen wrecks hit the news.

Basically, all the nuclear tests since the end of WWII have contaminated all steel that was produced and is being produced since, making it unusable for producing stuff that are sensitive to radionuclides.

The best source of such steel: WWII shipwrecks. You can get a LOT of money for a cruisers' worth of low-background steel, which makes mounting an illegal salvage operation very lucrative.

That's really interesting, but I'm not sure I understand why processing scrap wouldn't introduce as much radioactive contamination as the initial processing of ore.
The ore is open to the air for longer periods of time than during processing.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Online The Latinist

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 02:16:26 PM »
This is a topic that gets even more fascinating the deeper you dig.

One of the main reasons why people are doing it is the value of so-called low-background steel, which I have never even heard about before the stolen wrecks hit the news.

Basically, all the nuclear tests since the end of WWII have contaminated all steel that was produced and is being produced since, making it unusable for producing stuff that are sensitive to radionuclides.

The best source of such steel: WWII shipwrecks. You can get a LOT of money for a cruisers' worth of low-background steel, which makes mounting an illegal salvage operation very lucrative.

That's really interesting, but I'm not sure I understand why processing scrap wouldn't introduce as much radioactive contamination as the initial processing of ore.
The ore is open to the air for longer periods of time than during processing.

My understanding is that the primary source of radioisotope contamination in modern steel is the use of atmosphere-derived oxygen with traces of cobalt-60 to feed the blast furnace itself.  That process should be very similar for recycled iron, shouldn't it?
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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2017, 03:08:25 PM »
This is a topic that gets even more fascinating the deeper you dig.

One of the main reasons why people are doing it is the value of so-called low-background steel, which I have never even heard about before the stolen wrecks hit the news.

Basically, all the nuclear tests since the end of WWII have contaminated all steel that was produced and is being produced since, making it unusable for producing stuff that are sensitive to radionuclides.

The best source of such steel: WWII shipwrecks. You can get a LOT of money for a cruisers' worth of low-background steel, which makes mounting an illegal salvage operation very lucrative.

That's really interesting, but I'm not sure I understand why processing scrap wouldn't introduce as much radioactive contamination as the initial processing of ore.
The ore is open to the air for longer periods of time than during processing.

My understanding is that the primary source of radioisotope contamination in modern steel is the use of atmosphere-derived oxygen with traces of cobalt-60 to feed the blast furnace itself.  That process should be very similar for recycled iron, shouldn't it?
Refining the ore is significantly more energy intensive. So recycled iron doesn't have to be heated so much. After that you're going to have to ask my Ozzie friend, he's a geologist in Western Australia.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Online Desert Fox

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2017, 03:29:43 PM »
I have read that they have new processes that minimize the amount of radiation even in newly smelted iron / steel.
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
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Offline Shibboleth

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2017, 11:36:14 AM »
This is a topic that gets even more fascinating the deeper you dig.

One of the main reasons why people are doing it is the value of so-called low-background steel, which I have never even heard about before the stolen wrecks hit the news.

Basically, all the nuclear tests since the end of WWII have contaminated all steel that was produced and is being produced since, making it unusable for producing stuff that are sensitive to radionuclides.

The best source of such steel: WWII shipwrecks. You can get a LOT of money for a cruisers' worth of low-background steel, which makes mounting an illegal salvage operation very lucrative.

I don't understand. You would think that ore miles underground is just as protected from radiation from nuclear weapons as WWII ships.

edit:: sorry I should have read further.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2017, 01:04:31 PM »
I have read that they have new processes that minimize the amount of radiation even in newly smelted iron / steel.
That would hopefully reduce the desecration of war graves.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Online Desert Fox

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2017, 02:29:02 PM »
I have read that they have new processes that minimize the amount of radiation even in newly smelted iron / steel.
That would hopefully reduce the desecration of war graves.

The German WW1 Scapa Flow warship are not war graves. They were sunk as a protest with the crew abandoning the ships.
There is the weird kind of corruption in East Asia which makes me think that just because there is a process to make low radiation steel, they would still be salvaging these ships. What hit me was just how difficult it is to salvage these ships and that nobody noticed it at the time.
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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Second world war wrecks illegally scavenged for scrap
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 12:05:50 PM »
I have read that they have new processes that minimize the amount of radiation even in newly smelted iron / steel.
That would hopefully reduce the desecration of war graves.

The German WW1 Scapa Flow warship are not war graves. They were sunk as a protest with the crew abandoning the ships.
There is the weird kind of corruption in East Asia which makes me think that just because there is a process to make low radiation steel, they would still be salvaging these ships. What hit me was just how difficult it is to salvage these ships and that nobody noticed it at the time.
I never said anything about Scapa Flow. Obviously if there's are no dead on the ships it's not a war grave site.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

 

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