Toxic Trade News / 12 January 2006
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Clemenceau stopped outside Egypt waters
by NDTV Correspondent, (India)
12 January 2006 – Egyptian authorities have reportedly stopped French aircraft carrier Clemenceau at the Suez Canal.

The decommissioned carrier is waiting outside Egyptian waters with Greenpeace activists on board saying they will not let it cross the Suez Canal.

Egyptian authorities have asked officials on the ship for the required paperwork as per the Basel Convention before they let it enter Egyptian waters.

The international convention was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations. And it specifically aims to prevent dumping waste from developed to less developed countries.

The 24,000 tonne ship is insulated by carcinogenic asbestos, and has been turned back by Greece and Italy due to the toxic material.

Raging issue

The ship is headed for India where it is supposed to be broken up at Gujarat's Alang shipyard and sold as scrap.

But environmentalists have been up in arms against the decommissioned carrier coming to Indian shores.

The matter even came up in front of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Hazardous Waste.

The committee said that the ship must first be inspected to see the exact amount of asbestos it contains.

While the French government says the ship has 45 tonnes of asbestos, environmental activists claim there is well over 500 tonnes.

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