All Heil Breaks Loose
Six decades after World War II, Nazi U-boat poses threat to Norway
What’s scarier than a Nazi U-boat slinking along your shores? A Nazi U-boat sunk along your shores, with 65 tons of mercury still inside. In coastal Norway, residents are keeping a wary eye on a 62-year-old casualty of war that could pose a whole new danger. With time and seawater causing corrosion in a number of the submarine’s 1,857 canisters of mercury — originally headed to Japan’s weapons manufacturers — the neurotoxin is beginning to leak out, elevating mercury levels in fish and scaring the bejeepers out of the 630 people who live on a nearby island. “If it is not taken care of properly, it could develop into a catastrophe, with corroding canisters beginning to fail one after the other,” said Kristian Hall, a Norwegian engineering consultant. To contain the threat, the government plans to dump up to 300,000 tons of sand atop the wreck, then cover the resulting “burial mound” with rocks. Islanders who would rather see the hulk removed entirely plan a torchlight protest parade tonight.