ALTONA IN DETAIL

In December 2010, some 340 tonnes of UOC, packed inside 24 shipping containers (each loaded with 35 drums) were loaded onto the MCP Altona, headed out of Vancouver to China. Somewhere between Hawaii and Midway Islands a number of drums and containers were damaged, spilling yellowcake into the cargo hold. No yellowcake was spilled into the ocean. Cameco made the decision for the vessel to return to British Columbia where it was docked at the Port of Vancouver while Cameco and Canadian authorities oversaw a well-managed cleanup process. By April the spilled yellowcake had been recovered, sent back to Saskatchewan and the ship cleaned. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Transport Canada declared the Altona clean and safe by early May 2011. The clean-up cost $8 million. Post-clean-up the lawsuits ensued, leaving the Altona docked in Vancouver until a court ruling in 2013 allowed the ship to be re-sold. It has been renamed and bought by an Indonesian company. In 2014, after two years of negotiations with industry, the Port of Vancouver re-allowed UOC shipments.