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The Indefensible: Missile Falling PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 April 2005 08:56

The Indefensible: Missile Falling

The U.S. Defence Department has ignored Canadian requests to alter the trajectory of a scheduled April 13th launch of a Titan IV rocket. There are concerns in Newfoundland, jetisoned stage debris will fall uncomfortably close to Hibernia's offshore oil platforms. -

Breaking update : U.S. officials have delayed again the controversial launch of the Titan IV. Citing "technical problems," the Air Force Space Command says they'll postpone until April 17th the mission that threatens to shut down Maritime oil production. The American administration maintains: the trajectory, coming within 25 kilometers of the Hibernia offshore oil fields, had only a "one in a trillion" chance of dumped booster rockets hitting one of the Hibernia's oil rigs.


Heads Up Newf! No Defence from This Missile
C. L. Cook
April 9th, 2005

St John's Nfld. - The Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board has confirmed they are implementing a contingency evacuation plan for the massive Hibernia platforms in wake of The U.S. Defence Department's dismissal of their request to alter a flight that will see a roughly 10,000 kilogram spent rocket tank falling within a 25 kilometer radius of the offshoire oil field.

Newfoundland Premier, Danny Williams testily questioned what steps the Federal government had taken to convey the full merit of his, and the consortium of international oil companies operating in Hibernia, concerns, saying:    

"If Canada is going to represent us on interests like this which are international, then I expect a good stream of information, solid, consistent information to come to me as the head of a province."

For their part, Air Force Space Command spokesperson, Masao Doi reassured nervous Newfoundlanders, saying:

"Safety is a top priority for us and we do a thorough safety check on all of our boosters when we plot trajectories over international waters.''


Doi says he believes there's little chance personal injury will result the from debris plummeting into the sea. But those assurances aren't enough for the Offshore Petroleum Board. Board spokesperson, Simone Keough says their evacuation plan is moving ahead: 

"The only thing that has changed in terms of our preparations is the date.''

The Titan IV launch had been scheduled earlier in the year, but has suffered delays due to technical difficulties.

Evacuation would mean shutting down the 230.000-barrel-per-day Hibernia project, at a cost estimated in the tens of millions of dollars.

A spokesperson for Deputy PM, Anne McLellan says senior government officials have been talking to Washington since Thursday, and are:

"trying to get clarity on what their plans are and are expressing our concerns about the economic impact that this would have.'' 

Indefensible !

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 April 2005 08:56

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