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Asbestos hazards

Clemenceau May Have Found Final Resting Place

A French aircraft carrier containing more than 700 tons of asbestos could be dismantled in England after more than four years of legal controversy.

Once the pride of the French Navy, Clemenceau is set to be scrapped by Able UK an English firm that specializes in ship and offshore structure recycling.

The 33,000 ton carrier sailed more than one million nautical miles and saw action around the world that included protecting shipping lanes during the Iran-Iraq War and a support role during Operation Desert Storm.

The ship was originally set to be demolished in India’s notorious Alang shipyard but protests by Greenpeace and members of the socialist opposition halted the project as they called attention to working conditions and the ships toxic material that includes lead, PCBs, asbestos and other contaminants.

The ship was then returned to French waters and has sat idle while negotiations continue. Able UK indicated it has received the initial permits from the Health Safety Executive required for dismantling and will bring jobs to the Teesside area in northeastern England. The only major hurdle is that the company needs a transfrontier shipment permit to transfer the vessel from France to England.