Skip to comments.The fire on USS Miami (SSN-755) has been linked to a vacuum cleaner
Posted on 06/06/2012 3:20:37 PM PDT by moonshot925
(Reuters) - A fire that caused an estimated $400 million in damage to a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered submarine docked in Maine may have been caused by a vacuum cleaner, authorities said on Wednesday.
The fire in the forward compartment - which includes crew living, command and control spaces and the torpedo room - of the USS Miami on May 23 took about 12 hours to extinguish and injured seven firefighters.
"Preliminary findings indicate the fire started in a vacuum cleaner used to clean work sites at end of shift, and stored in an unoccupied space," the shipyard's public affairs office said in a release. Specific details are still being evaluated.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
The boat was in overhaul in the shipyard. The crew wasn't even onboard except for a below decks watch, a topside watch and whatever the nukes do in a cold-iron shutdown. Normal systems could have been tagged out or even missing during this period. This kind of fire would never happen at sea.
Was it a Dyson?
or a Hoover?
With the ongoing lack of will in congress to fund stepping up the Virginia class builds yea this is likely for the best. It's bad news though when even loosing one ship can put significant load on others to take up the slack. It's PP Planning and a dangerous plan. You have to have a causality cushion and today's numbers don't allow for such.
This reminds me of the time my sainted mom-in-law BROKE HER ARM vacuuming. She fell backwards over her coffee table.
I told hubby - you see - this whole cleaning thing is dangerous!
Both Houses of Congress and both parties are falling all over themselves to restore the second FY-14 boat in the shipbuilding plan. I don't know if there is a defense acquisition with more support.
What you said in addition to possible issues with the pressure hull - warping, heat-fatigue/fracturing, etc.
They’ll likely be taking samples from suspect areas of pressure hull for testing. If necessary, it’s not too difficult to cut out and replace small sections of the hull. Of course they will be taking out large hull cuts on the top of the boat to facilitate clean out and rebuilding.
Do they have fire sprinklers on ships?
Back in the old days, they just covered everything with asbestos. Can’t do that now.
They need to start falling at a faster rate all over themselves. We’ve been below 60 on subs since 1999 and in the low 50’s since 2002. We’re down 50% on modern subs from 1987 that’s too deep a cut even with the technology increases. BTW the buil up need isn’t just limited to subs. The rate they are going at now won’t likely even keep pace with the decom rate.
Some ships have fire suppression systems, yes. Every kitchen on a ship, even submarines, has some kind of fire suppression system over the grills and in the exhaust stacks.
Other than that, no sprinklers on a boat. That’s why we have watchstanders both underway and in port. Every accessible space is checked at least every hour, if not more. It’s their job to find a fire (if one exists), and sound the alarm as quickly as possible.
And, BTW, NO asbestos installed on ships anymore. There may be some on very old ships (carriers). Which is why when they install new insulation, it is first painted red, before it’s painted its’ finished coat. The read undercoat indicates that the contained insulation is NOT asbestos.
60 SSNs is right at replacement rate. Boats last about 30 years and are currently being built at 2 a year. I would say we need no less than 70 boats...there has to be some level of flexibility, for things just like what happened to Miami.
And with China becoming more aggressive, and there’s simply no slack anymore.
Many of the Block I LA class boats were retied early because they were not needed.
The time it takes to build a Block II Virginia class boat is much faster than Block I thanks to construction simplification.
USS Virginia (SSN-774) 47 months
USS Texas (SSN-775) 33 months
USS Hawaii (SSN-776) 33 months
USS North Carolina (SSN-777) 35 months
USS New Hampshire (SSN-778) 10 months
USS New Mexico (SSN-779) 9 months
USS Missouri (SSN-780) 14 months
USS California (SSN-781) 18 months
USS Mississippi (SSN-782)18 months
We were able to pull from behind strength wise in WW2 because our manufacturing infrastructure was there in almost all aspects and in multiple venues if needed. We don't have that luxury now even in non nuclear defense production. I just don't think China is going to process our needed steel or especially fuel if we came under attack. Not to mention you just don't go hire experiences ship builders off the street much less ones capable of building boats. It's the old saying practice makes perfect.
Which is why I believe we need at least some modern diesel boats...far cheaper to build, easier to man, and could relieve nucs in territorial waters.
We were stationed there recently and my wife had to deal with those unions. Since it appears that the fire was created by a few boneheaded civilian union employees, she figures that three Navy officers (the yard commander, the engineering commander and the safety person) will be fired, have their careers ruined and wind up getting retired early and two union guys will get placed somewhere else on the yard as “punishment” until the union has them reinstated.
oh, and not to mention the scores of Navy personnel in the chain that will be denied promotions and held out of better billets and treated as lepers because this will be forever on their fitrep. Not to mention the half a billion it’ll cost the taxpayers all because, based on what we know so far, a few union guys were too lazy and didn’t want to carry the vac off the boat because the act of moving the vac up and out was not in their job description.
I'm sure I'll be ridiculed for this but I believe we need at least two or more conventional CV's as well. Nukes have their indisputable advantages but so does conventional. Conventional Plants offers a quicker training & qualification timeframe & for the Propulsion crew. You can take a guy out of Basic and put him in The Hole no schools needed. It's OJT for a lot of guys.
Nuke Propulsion crews are cream of the crop. It's tough or it was tough to get through the school and it should be so. I know a guy who is a Math professor who didn't make it through. I also knew another guy who was a genius but also an impulsive screw up with no common sense who thankfully washed out. Both guys were in my shop LOL.
The USA has a massive technological advantage over China thanks to automation. American factories are the most efficient in the world.
In 2010, the USA manufactured $1.855 Trillion with 11.5 million workers.
In 2010, China produced 1.922 Trillion with 120 million workers.
The efficiency of American manufacturing keeps increasing at an exponential rate. We are able to produce more goods with less workers. Labor costs are rising in China and the growth rate is slowing down.
“I believe we need at least two or more conventional CV’s as well”
That is not going to happen. Nuclear plants are needed because of the of the power they produce. Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System(EMALS), railguns, free electron lasers, dynamic armor and other future upgrades require large sums of power that only a nuclear reactor like the A1B on the Gerald R. Ford class can provide.
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