The dismantling of an oil refining ship called Kuito, which served near Angola for a long time, has been launched in Turkey’s Aegean province of Izmir. This has happened in spite of anxieties that the vessel may hold radioactive material. A group of 150 people are anticipated to dismantle the vessel within the frame of a year in the Aliağa shipyard in the Aegean shore.

Image: DHA

Both environmentalists and the union of chambers of Turkey have opposed the decision about the start of the operation based on the fact that the vessel was transporting radioactive material. The ship, settled in Aliağa’s waters on Feb. 4, appeared on the shore on Feb. 6 in spite of the disapproval.

Before that, it has been stated that the vessel was not loaded with both hazardous waste and radioactive materials. The statement was on the grounds of the tests performed by a private firm whose authorization was issued by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK). The governing bodies participating in the process have guaranteed that every stage of the operation will be monitored and the results will be announced daily. The latter will be provided respectively to the institutions dealing with the matter.

In the meantime, according to Baran Bozoğlu, the chamber of environmental engineers head under the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) in a press conference taking place earlier in February, potential radioactive materials cause hazards if the process of dismantling proceeds. He has warned that if the vessel settles in the waters of Aliağa it will be hard to make it return to Angola. As a consequence of the process Kuito will produce 46,000 tons of steel.

Starting in 1979, the ship whose length is 350 meters, has freed crude oil from impurities. It has launched its mission in Angola in 2000 after alterations in 1999. During the busiest time of its service the ship has produced 100,000 barrels of refined oil daily and has stored about 1.4 million barrels.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News‎