Nuclear Battleship Arrives In San Francisco Bay
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) _ The nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser USS Texas arrived at its new home port Friday on San Francisco Bay, met by a chilly reception from environmentalists staging a symbolic blockade.
Six swimmers from the Greenpeace organization accompanied a pair of rubber rafts, three kayaks and a sailboat in the channel at the entrance to the Alameda Naval Air Station.
Navy journalist Forrest Parrott said Navy Port Services removed four Greenpeace swimmers from the water because they blocked the ship’s entrance.
The protest was against the Navy’s decision to move the ship to Alameda without studying the possible risks of having the twin-reactor ship in the bay, according to Erica Rosenthal, an issues coordinator for Greenpeace.
″Any ship that is nuclear-powered certainly brings increased risk of various accidents and radioactive releases,″ Ms. Rosenthal said. ″This is really a kind of quiet escalation through the backdoor with no input from the community.″
Cmdr. George Farrar of the Command Naval Base in San Francisco said no environmental study was needed before transferring the 11,000-ton, 580-foot ship from Bremerton, Wash., where it was docked for the past two years.
″The Navy maintains that routine homeporting of its ships between active homeports does not require an environmental impact study. No additional facilities were required to support the arrival of the Texas,″ Farrar said.
The USS Texas, with a 473-member crew, was moved to Alameda as part of the Navy’s strategic homeporting plan and is part of its Pacific fleet, Parrott said.