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Anti-Container Submarine

  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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Lost shipping containers currently present one of the biggest hazards to ocean shipping. They lurk unseen just beneath the surface and have sharp steel corners ready to punch a hole in all but the most solid hulls. There is now, however, a solution to this menace of the seas. It's not cheap, possibly very expensive and probably quite dangerous, but it can clean up our oceans.

The Wagster Industries ACS (Anti-Container Submarine) is an unmanned, nuclear powered submarine capable of roaming the oceans for years unattended. It travels 2km deep, scanning the surface of the ocean with vertically focussed sonar. When it detects the signature of a shipping container it launches a torpedo upwards, punching a hole in it.

Whilst you might think that holing a container would be enough to sink it - what if it were full of delicate items packed in polystyrene? It might continue to float even after the torpedo impacts. In order to avoid this scenario, the ACS immediately follows up the torpedo strike with a HUGE torpedo containing enough explosive to blast the entire container into millions of tiny little pieces.

This presents us with yet another problem to overcome. What if all those millions of tiny little pieces are sharp and floaty? They could still present a hazard to sailing boats. Fortunately the ACS follows up the HUGE torpedo with a small nuclear device which instantly vaporises the dangerous floaty bits and the surrounding bit of ocean. This has the added advantage of temporarily marking the area with radiation as a warning to shipping that they should avoid the area in case the odd floaty bit remains.

The ACS is equipped with a location beacon enabling the sort of people who like seeing things exploding to follow it around at a discreet distance.

wagster, Nov 10 2008

Containerization http://en.wikipedia...ki/Containerization
According to Wikipedia (so it must be true), 10,000 containers a year are lost at sea. [hippo, Nov 11 2008]


       recovery might be more profitable .
wjt, Nov 10 2008

       an autonomous nuclear submarine... isn't this a HAL variation ? [+] 'cuz I never travel by ship.
FlyingToaster, Nov 10 2008

       There's a possibility you might knock containers off other ships in the area. So now the question is: do you a) move to the container that was knocked overboard, or b) use a MUCH BIGGER nuclear device?
lurch, Nov 10 2008

       It might be a lot simpler to have the sub just launch a locator beacon that would become magnetically attached to the lost container. Ships could scan for these signals and either choose to steer clear of the hazard or toss out a line and take it in tow.   

       Towed containers could be collected together at a designated site (either at sea or near land), thereby clearing the shipping lanes and creating an artificial island where salvage could be done. Salvage operations could be financed by the sale of the contents of the recovered containers.   

       I realize this is a lot less fun without stuff blowing up, but it would certainly be less hazardous for anyone making an around-the-world voyage in their second-hand container that's been converted into a houseboat.
Canuck, Nov 10 2008

       2yrs autonomous piloting, Three torpedoes per container, One of those, nuclear. Something is not adding up here...
4whom, Nov 10 2008

       Being autonomous, there's always a chance that this thing will "gang aft agley" - what you'll end up needing is an even more autonomous Anti Anti Container Submarine Submarine.   

       1st torpedo punches a modest hole in the side.
2nd torpedo explodes inside.
3rd torpedo vaporises all the iddy-biddy pieces.

zen_tom, Nov 10 2008

       instead of blowing them up - somehow send them to the bottom.
po, Nov 10 2008

       And that is fun exactly how...?   

       [z_t] - I couldn't agree more.
wagster, Nov 10 2008

       have you forgotten autumn watch already?
po, Nov 10 2008

       You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs...
wagster, Nov 10 2008

       You can so make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Just buy the carton of egg product. Pre-shelled, pre-beaten, all you have to do is cook it up!
ye_river_xiv, Nov 10 2008

       Will there be a movie ? Maybe, "The Hunt For Red Container" ?
8th of 7, Nov 10 2008

       I removed the echos. Please, let's go play something else. Or somewhere else. Thanks,
jutta, Nov 11 2008

       So, my anti-magneto nuke submarine disarming submarine spherical polystyrene buoy torpedo launching system is out of order then....I see.
quantum_flux, Nov 11 2008


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