June 6th, 2012
09:27 PM ET

Vacuum causes $400M damage to nuclear submarine

A fire last month aboard a U.S. nuclear submarine that caused more than $400 million in damage may have been caused by a vacuum cleaner, the Navy said Wednesday.

"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 Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Congressional and Public Affairs Office said in a news release. "Specific details as to the cause and subsequent damage assessment are still being evaluated as part of ongoing investigations and will be released at a later date."

Public Affairs Officer Deb White said she did not know what kind of vacuum cleaner had been implicated in the blaze or whether the same machine was used by any other nuclear submarines.

The May 24 incident affected the forward compartment of the USS Miami, where the crew's living quarters, command and control spaces and the torpedo room are, the release said.

"Miami's nuclear propulsion spaces were not affected by the fire," the release said. "The ship's nuclear propulsion plant was not operating at the time and the plant had been shut down for over two months. Nuclear propulsion spaces were isolated from the forward compartment fire early and spaces remained habitable, manned and in a safe and stable condition throughout the entire event. There were no torpedoes or other weapons onboard the submarine."

Cleanup in the forward compartment began last week and the Navy estimated an "initial rough repair cost" of $400 million, plus some 10% for what it called "secondary effects," including disruption to other planned work in the shipyards and the possible need to contract work to the private sector.

The submarine was commissioned in 1990 and carries a crew of 12 officers and 98 enlisted personnel, according to the Navy.

Filed under: Navy
soundoff (277 Responses)
  1. vacuum cleaners ratings

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    August 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  2. theazcowboy

    I wonder of the vacuum company has any 'product liability' insurance?

    June 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Robert

      There's probably a lot more to the story.

      July 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • GaryO

      Probably, but not to the tune of $400 Mil!

      July 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  3. theazcowboy

    Yup, damned 'war profiteers' are making all of the money!

    June 29, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  4. AlexShch

    And the vacuum cleaner was made in China, I suppose?

    June 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  5. Chipster

    I served on two sub's back in my days. Was on UssSargo SSN 583 and USS Gudgion SS 567. 74-78. Fire on a boat is a very bad thing to have. For all the idiots and crack heads out there writting stupid crap. Those men could have very easley died in a matter af a few minutes of it starting. If it weren't for the training and the bravery of them all. It could have bee a boat and lives at the bottomof the ocean.
    If you don't have the sence of intellegence. Then keep your fingers off the keyboard!!!!!!!!
    Only two things in this world. Targets and Submarines. Which would you prefer?

    June 12, 2012 at 1:26 am | Reply
    • Ron

      Totally frustrating after listening to the CNN reporter. I Served on the USS Finback (SSN670) for just short of six years, they (CNN) didnt get the number of watertight compartments right, didnt get the enrichment of the core right (I was a Nuke), and after reading the comments posted by the majority of the people, not to many of the folks appear to have any common sense or reason or choose not to use it, not quite sure. At any rate, if youve not served on one of the boats I can guantee you dont have a clue what you are talking about. Theres a reason its called the silent service. We dont discuss the details.

      June 18, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
      • AlexShch

        Indeed... "sibs like this are divided into two(?) watertight compartments..." sloppy reporting.

        I was told that the materials of which sub interior is made must be specifically certified, and generally tend to be natural and somewhat old fashioned: metals, oil-based paints, wood; natural (synthetics) close; fiberglass thermal insulations, etc. Plastics are generally avoided because of fumes and tendency to produce toxic/flammable gases if heated; fire retardants are restricted or carefully selected.

        June 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
      • bopeep

        Don't forget those of us that build them -

        July 26, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Mark

      In dry dock?

      June 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  6. IronCelt

    Ordinary vacuum cleaners (like the one I own) are apparently no longer made properly; the cord gets burning hot before I've finished one little room. I complained to the clerk after I first bought it, and she said, "I demo vacuum cleaners all day every day. They're all like that."

    June 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Gallienus

      I like the Rainbow, though they're a bit expensive. Also those bagless ones made by Dyson are good. You can replace the cord but if the rest of the vacuum is poorly made it may not be worth it.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  7. Marc

    Anyone but me find it a little odd for a vacuum cleaner to cause that much damage in a fire. It's a warship, you'd think they'd make it less combustible? What if they were in combat and took a torpedo hit or something like that?

    June 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • John

      One, single, solitary torpedo will sink anything smaller than an aircraft carrier. I've seen a neat video ("warshot") where a single Mark 48 torpedo blows a cruiser clean in half.

      Making a warship safe, is like encasing a steak knife in resin. You won't cut yourself accidentally, but you won't be eating steak anytime soon either.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
  8. warrentheape

    400 million could have paid for someone to patrol the sub's interior, 24 hours a day, for 2,283 YEARS. Think about that. They don't have fire alarms on a BILLION DOLLAR SUB? Hello, and welcome to the Navy.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • John

      Yes, but you know, we have to cut the military's budget because it's not needed anymore and we have all these social programs to fund. You get what you pay for.

      Besides, the DO have a "below decks watch" that constantly patrols the boat while in port. That is probably the only reason the fire didn't kill anybody. Fires start fast, and spread fast.

      We lost the U.S.S. Bonefish a few years back while at sea. People were awake and moving about in every single compartment but the fire still got out of control (it will do that when it cuts through 3,000 psi oxygen and hydraulic lines).

      June 14, 2012 at 8:12 am | Reply
  9. Brickell Princess

    The USS Miami? Watch out for drugged up zombies!!!

    June 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  10. $400 Million

    And now you know why the US economy is so fraking screwed up. Look no further folks. I'm not saying we don't need subs, we just don't need subs that cost $400Mil, from a small contained fire.

    June 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • Pearl Harbor Shipyard Worker

      It was not small and it was not contained.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  11. Ted Ward

    A twelve hour fire raging in a confined area could get really hot, hot enough to anneal or otherwise change the hull's strength characteristics, possibly if not probably weakening it. This sub could now be just useless scrap. What a shamefull waste as a result of a careless oversight.

    June 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  12. Dan in New Hampshire

    That's why we need more women on submarines. They know how to handle vacuum cleaners.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • ashley

      You stay classy Dan...in your sad singlehood and old age. Enjoy those Hungry Man meals on your TV tray while watching Jeopardy with your dog!

      June 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • Sharp

        Dog is much more loyal than golddigging wife.

        June 8, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  13. Kenny

    The ignorance, it hurts my brain. Former bubblehead here, if you have never served on board a submarine, don't speculate about the supposed reasons behind the cost, and consider the sheer amount of electronics that have to have been damaged. Alongside that, in overhaul a ship's manning crew-wise tends to be minimal, at least for personnel physically on board. Unfortunately, once insulating materials on board the sub catch fire you're going to have a hard fight ahead of you. Another thing to consider is that if the fire raged for 10 hours, it's likely that the heat caused a great deal of damage to the hull. I would not try to take that boat out to sea, even if they managed to repair it, insomuch as you can claim to have done so. I'm no metallurgist but I can guarantee that the hull is severely weakened.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • cris

      Because it was made from China...

      June 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • John

      Yeah. I wouldn't go to sea on it. They should take it down to Charleston and replace one of the old boats used as a prototype. At least the propulsion plant is newer.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
      • Drew

        The USS Bonehead...

        June 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |
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    June 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
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    June 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • RussTnuts

      foa, we're talking about nuclear reactors that look just like vacuum cleaners right now.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
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      June 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Reply
      • EarlGrayHot

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        June 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
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  16. kjac1201

    If the front half of the ship sustained fire and heat damage, I can easily see the high cost of repairs. The command center was listed as one of the damaged areas. It is also possible there was damage to the fire control systems as well. The computers, controllers and wiring systems take poorly to fire and heat. All of the living spaces willl have to be rebuilt, as well. A fire in a confined space is very hot, and may have been hot enough to change the structural strength of the hull. No submariner would knowingly take his ship to any depth unless he was confident it was strong enough to take the pressure. As far as putting the fire out, I suspect that the ship's access to water, epecially if it was in a dry dock, probably compromised the ship's fire suppression system. Los Angeles class submarines are complex and expensive. I'd give the Navy plenty of time to do a cost/benefit analysis of the repairs, but I'd also expect them to be cautious about sending a fire-damaged ship to sea with 110 sailors' lives on the line.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  17. Jimi

    Actually the vacuum cleaner broke. The screw driver the Navy needs to fix it costs $400 miillion...

    June 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  18. Yakobi

    Whatever kind it was, I'll bet it was made in China.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  19. vtwin1540

    I wonder if it was full of "semen"

    June 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  20. John

    Damn, that really sucks!

    June 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  21. str8vision

    A vacuume cleaner can bring down a U.S. sub? That just sucks.....

    June 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  22. no nothing


    June 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  23. Out There

    I bet Special Agent L. J. Gibbs will figure out what happened!

    June 7, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • GoNavy

      Unless it was a Roomba, and then he'll just shoot it.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
      • Drop Bear

        Ducky will do the autopsy and find miniture North Koreans inside...

        June 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
      • AlexShch

        Roomba is actually made by the same American company which makes very cool autonomous undersea robotic vehicles for US NAVY.

        In fact, it is the other war around: it is the company which primarily makes autonomous undersea vehicles for the NAVY also makes Roomba vacuum cleaners just to earn extra cash (and to survive then NAVY orders run out).

        So if the NAVY wants a properly designed vacuum cleaner, that company is the first one to ask for.

        June 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  24. Chris

    I have to ask...was the vacuum made in China? Could be their new secret submarine killer weapon.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  25. Lewy

    Submarines are obsolete in today's modern Navy.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • JWoody907

      That could be the most ignorant statement ever made. Submarines are essential to today's Navy, more so now than ever before.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Mitch H

      Talk about an ignorant comment.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Gary

      Ballistic missile subs are probably the major player in our nuclear offense, since they can be almost anywhere there is open water, so flight time is reduced, and can't know where they are. This is one major reason MAD has worked all these years.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Sam Rao

      Lewy, Interesting point. Could you elaborate more as I think in modern warfare there is more stress on stealth etc and you seem to think subs are obsolete.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • frontgate

      hahahaha, ignorance, just plain ignorance

      June 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • jimzcarz

      Lay down the pipe Bro...

      June 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • It ain't over

      Nuclear submarines are still one of the three legs in the nuclear deterrent trident. Land based ICBMs, bombers, and subs. While the cold war is over, threats to the US are not. You can bet that there are countries that are very careful about what they do to vex the US. In the second Iraq war, Saddam was reminded that our missiles can be retargetted in a matter of minutes, and their accuracy is within a ten foot radius. When he started threatening to use gas and other weapons, you'll note that he decided not to. It wasn't just because he was a nice guy. He didn't want large swaths of his country to be flattened. But nuclear subs also have another role that's no less deadly. They can launch conventional cruise missiles without surfacing. Cruise missles use GPS to get them to the target area, and then other means to strike the targets with accuracy of inches. There are several classes of subs. Some are used to project power. Others are used to collect data and hunt other subs. We have subs that are so quiet, they can follow a Russian sub and the Russians don't know they're back there.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • FT3(SS) Smith

      Clearly, you don't know your ass from a hole in the ground. Subs are a VITAL part in today's Navy. We project naval power ashore among many other missions vital to the continuing challenges of Post-Cold War Warfare. Even many of the old boomers are being refitted to fire guided missiles. Try talk out of your mouth instead of your ass next time.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • EarlGrayHot

      No they're not. They are a very important stealth operation.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  26. cnnloudmouth

    It is much more plausible that the sub needed a technology upgrade, but DoD did not have the necessary funding available for such an upgrade. Almost certainly, Congress would not have appropriated $400 million for an upgrade, however, Congress will appropriate the funding for fire damages caused by a "vacuum cleaner". If a vacuum cleaner can cause this type of damage to a submarine, the U.S. should send an entire shipping container of these "special" vacuum cleaners to the Chinese Navy, compliments of the citizens of the United States of America (a/k/a Trojan Horse vacuum cleaners).

    June 7, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • David

      one week of vacuum training for every person on a US navy ship will cost another 100 m

      June 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • JeramieH

      The vacuum cleaner was probably made in China anyway.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  27. Chris

    Proof positive that Nature abhors a vacuum.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Gary

      I thought there couldn't be a fire in a vacuum, since there is no oxygen 😉

      June 7, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • JeramieH

      You can have fires in a vacuum, just one of the fuels must provide the oxygen. For instance, many hypergolic fuels.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  28. dajowi

    The vacuum used is dependent upon the type of sub.

    If it's diesel they use a wet / dry vac
    If it's fissile they use a Bissell

    June 7, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
  29. Snackelfish

    Wow, that sucks for the Navy.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
  30. Darwin was right

    GREAT! Now another 10,000 young American men and women can't go to college because the MILITARY is eating up all the money. When I got my degree, tuition was only $150 a semester because the states could afford to subsidize it. National security is also damaged when parents and the kids can't afford to get science & engineering degrees!!

    June 7, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply

      wah-wah-wah...and I suppose you had to walk to school barefooted in the snow!!

      June 7, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
      • Grumpster

        Uphill both ways too.

        June 7, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • Alverant

        $400 million is wasted because someone was careless with a vacuum. That could have done a lot of actual good in this country. Instead we have an inflated military budget at the cost of essential services. People should be angry about that.

        June 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Out There

      Things have changed a lot since 1960.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Gary

      Many colleges have record attendance. So no lack of people going.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
      • Gary

        In 1970 the fall enrollment was 8,581,000 students. In 2010 19,125,780.

        There is an issue in that many colleges are degree machines and many students are not researching what type of jobs are available, and graduate with degrees but no demand.

        June 7, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • TJ

      Stupid. The military serves not decides. They only spend money on what the civilian leadership tells them too. You elected them so if college costs more its on you.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      Illegal immigration is a far worse problem to our national budget than the military is as a problem.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • please

      That's a 400m repair that means workers will be employed to perform the fix. What's your point again?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  31. ciaopaparazzi

    What a joke report.

    June 7, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • frontgate

      in what way?

      June 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  32. GardenGrl

    Proof that housework can be hazardous to your health

    June 7, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  33. LostinSLC

    Couldn't have been a Dyson

    June 7, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
  34. BillD

    I'm suprised a very complex and expensive sub like that doesn't have a better fire suppression system.

    June 7, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
    • booskooo

      I'll bet the Vacuum Cleaner was made in China.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • Jeff

      Like what? Ever been on a submarine? Seriously, think about it for a minute.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      It was in a shipyard for overhaul. A lot of systems are either shut down or removed for repair during yard availabilities.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Not a Scholar

      Fire suppression in an encapsulated environment is easy. Until you throw in the idea that there is a human crew on board. Then you take into account that this vessel was offline, reactor down, undergoing renovations. Not the typical operating conditions.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • Al

      Yeah, they tried that thing where the whole sub is flooded in case of fire, but it didn't work out.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  35. Cam

    I didn't know women were allowed on submarines

    June 7, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • davidabarak

      it's a fairly new change, implemented less than a year ago I believe.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      The spokes person was an shipyard employee, not a crew member. For now, the only subs with female crews are the Boomers. This boat is a fast attack, no female crewmembers.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
  36. jim

    Maybe it happened like this


    June 7, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
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      June 7, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
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  38. SeeBee

    It might not have been a defect in the vacuum cleaner. Someone might have vacuumed up some hot material which smoldered in the vacuum cleaner for a while.

    I'd bet it was welding slag or some other trash from "hot work."

    June 7, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Given the lack of concern I saw on the part of the shipyard workers back when I was on a sub in Portsmouth NSY back in 84-86, I am not surprised in the least. When doing a roving watch, I often had to report sleeping fire-watches, no flame blankets and no fire extinguishers when welders and brazers were at work. They would often start cleaning up when the slag was still glowing (because they couldn't miss their break or end-of-shift), and generally had what could be called at best, poor housekeeping practices. This was the polar opposite of what I saw at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremmerton, WA. There I saw conscientious workers observing all applicable safety rules. I also witnessed a greater respect for Ship's Company at Puget than I did at Portsmouth, so that may color my opinion a bit.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        Long Beach Naval Shipyard had a bad reputation too, which is why I suppose it is now gone and Puget Sound NSY remains in service.

        June 7, 2012 at 10:01 am |
      • SSBN641B

        I was in PNSY for only a year in 87 but saw a lot of shipyard workers 'napping' during the 18-24 and 00-06 watches in the engineering spaces (AMR2 LL).

        June 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  39. Mitch H

    They must have used the vacuum to clean up a work site after hotwork was done.

    June 7, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • SeeBee

      Great minds think alike, and at the same time!

      June 7, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
  40. Johnny - ny

    The $400 million covers replacing the vacuum cleaner and the extension cord. They were made to military specs which results in the high cost.

    June 7, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
  41. hjs3

    Clearly wasn't a Dyson.....

    June 7, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • mildev

      At least it never lost suction.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:53 am | Reply
      • Not a Scholar

        That's what he said...

        June 7, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  42. Just Me

    It's not our tax money that will have to pay for the repairs nor will it be the crews responsibility thats what insurance is for. I'm sure the insurance company of the manufacturer of the vacuum will be paying dearly. I am waiting patiently to see who the MFG of the vacuum is. I know of one manufacturing company that sent much of it's work to China to save money. They were made cheap here and now made even cheaper in China. Just remember you get what you pay for!

    June 7, 2012 at 7:47 am | Reply
    • Gary

      "Just remember you get what you pay for!" – I would hope so, otherwise it would be theft or fraud, 😉

      June 7, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      I wouldn't expect the vacuum manufacturer to be held liable for misuse by shipyard workers. If they vacuumed up something that was still hot and that set the contents of the vacuum on fire, initiating the fire in the forward compartment, then I would expect the shipyard to take the hit, not the vacuum maker.

      June 7, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
  43. GaryO

    $400,000,000 to repair a 22 year old nuclear attack sub.THere are 42 on active duty and 20 retired. Lets not forget that the Miami was about to receive a major overhaul and system upgrades, which may not be added into the $400 million in repairs. How much was that all going to cost? The Navy Department is debating whether to scrap the ship. Both US Senators from Maine advocate repairing it, since it would bring the state the business (The repairs would be done in Bangor, ME). Don't let the politicians decide to waste our money. Scrap the sub.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • Former Sub Sailor

      make it MTS-755. Moored Training Ship for the baby nukes to work on in Nuke school in Charleston. Also frees up equipment to upgrade the systems on another 688I earlier than expected. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in my opinion is the best of the Navy shipyards, it's unfortunate the accident happened there but it did and hey should not be repairing it. It's all taxpayer money being spent.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:30 am | Reply
      • Jack

        I thought the closed down NTC and send everyone to Idaho now.

        June 7, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Tom Westcott

      Not Bangor, Me.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      With the increasing size and technical advancement of the Chinese Navy, now is not the time to reduce the size of the submarine force. If you think overhauling an LA class boat is costly, compare that to the cost of replacing it with a new build Virginia class boat. Hundreds of millions vs billions. New subs are costly. Use what you have until it's not economical to repair it any more. A 20 year old naval vessel is not used up. USS Enterprise was built in 1962, when JFK was President, and is only now on her final cruise before retirement.

      June 7, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
      • ladyfon

        Yeah, but in 1962 we made things to last. Now they make things to last a few years, so that you have to buy another one.

        June 7, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • Kazango the Great

        "Let's make sure history never forgets... the name...'Enterprise'!"

        June 7, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • GaryO

        You're right that the Virginia class is a joke. It was supposed to be a cheaper successor to the Seawolf, but ended up costing $200 MM more than the Seawolf with less capability ($3.0 Billion v. $3.2 Billion. Still, somehow I think that we could make due with 41 Los Angeles class subs, since our attack subs aren't chasing Typhoon class subs like they were when the USSR was around.

        June 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  44. Concerned

    I hope the vacuum cleaner is ok.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:24 am | Reply
  45. doubter

    $400 million? yeah right. I don't believe that for a second. Sounds like someone has some palms to grease.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
    • jnpa

      I thought the same thing. $400M? They must be kidding! Unless it totally destroyed a high level/technical piece of equipment that will cost twice that to replace, I have to question that damage cost assessment.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:39 am | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      The estimates are low; you have no idea what kind of stuff is in a nuke sub. Talk to someone who's served on one, if you have the clearance.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Don't think it looks anything like one of those old Russian or WWII US Navy subs on display around the US. There are a lot of expensive to replace fire control consoles and big computers in those spaces besides the torpedos themselves. Google around and you can find some photos of what is in there.

      June 7, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
  46. Segeny

    Vacuum cleaner probably made in China, along with everything else purchased by America.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
  47. You Don't Say?

    What a weird and very expensive thing to happen.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:08 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Shipyard fires are very common. Read the history of the old aircraft carrier USS Constellation. BIG shipyard fire, but in her service she had so many other fires she was nicknamed the "Conflagration".
      The Dutch nearly lost one of their current subs to a huge construction fire, setting her completion back years. The Russians have had boats sink at the pier after shipyard goofs and they had a sub burn in one of their yards not too long ago.
      The ocean liner SS Normandie, one of the greatest ocean liners of her time, and the fastest, was being converted to a troop ship in New York during WWII when it caught fire and sank.

      June 7, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  48. nothing-sux-like-electrolux

    Well that really SUCKS....

    June 7, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
  49. gARY

    I bet someone sucked up a lit cigarette butt.

    June 7, 2012 at 6:03 am | Reply
    • Former Sub Sailor

      Smoking is not allowed on submarines anymore. You must go to the pier to smoke.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Yep, contractors smoking aboard while the sailors were all gone, and they hear something, drop the butt, and vac it up. Hours later, the bag smolders into flame . . .

      June 7, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
    • SeeBee

      My bet is on welding slag. Someone vacuumed up after a weld job before making sure the slag was cool.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
  50. Joseph

    It was a nuclear powered vacuum.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:35 am | Reply
  51. Scott

    The worst is, the vacuum probably cost $10 million.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:12 am | Reply
    • Jim

      Isn't that the truth

      June 7, 2012 at 5:57 am | Reply
  52. gingersrule1

    Wow! That was insane. Some lucky people. A vacuum cleaner is dangerous apparently???

    June 7, 2012 at 2:52 am | Reply
  53. Michael

    $400 million in damages caused by a vacuum cleaner. That sucks.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:50 am | Reply
  54. humberto

    Use it to generate electic for the shipyard and base, and save 400 million and ten percent of the disruption to other projects in the yard.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:44 am | Reply
    • ajs

      I second that, great Idea!

      June 7, 2012 at 6:16 am | Reply
  55. Kirby The Faulty Vaccuum


    June 7, 2012 at 1:40 am | Reply
  56. acajunthatsagun

    This is George W Bush's fault.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:28 am | Reply
    • Zooni

      Bush sucked, but that is pushing it.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:05 am | Reply
    • setnommarih

      Oh no, now the Navy has gotten a case of blameitonsomeonelseitis, must have caught it from Obama.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:13 am | Reply
  57. 60minuteman

    The vacuum in question had been infected with an Iranian version of the Stuxnet virus.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
  58. Napolean Solo

    I'm very glad this didn't happen while the sub was under way or submerged. Somebody screwed up. They'll review and revise SOP, maybe involving physically removing all vacuum cleaners from the sub after cleanup and then bring them back aboard for cleanup then take them off.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
    • RussTnuts

      "a vacuum cleaner"....is that what their call nuclear reactors these days!

      June 7, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
      • dike

        vacuum cleaner is the code for the core reactor..

        June 7, 2012 at 2:04 am |
      • YourMom

        You are both idiots.

        June 7, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • theBoss

      Somebody didn't screw up so much as they just sucked at their job.

      Puns aside, I suspect that since smoking is not permitted on subs, the vacuum operator used the vacuum to suck up the smoke, ashes, and snuffed out butt, thinking that nothing would go wrong because the vacuum is one of those all-metal designs that couldn't possibly catch on fire.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:50 am | Reply
  59. ludvig

    I thought when I worked in the yards, that the stuff that went on the subs had some fire resistance properties, due to the danger of fire on a submerged submarine. I guess not, or the stuff that burned was overhaul equipment not intended to be on a sub on patrol.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
  60. rob2tall

    one less sub is just fine-as we can wipe out everyone on earth 22x as it is.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • caw

      That was 400mil of your taxpayer money.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
      • larry

        True but he's a leech off the system so it's not his tax payer money...

        June 7, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • jtucker4

      All the nukes going off at the same time wouldn't destroy our planet but Yellowstone erupting would.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:48 am | Reply
  61. Me

    One other blog here has foul language in it so now i guess that to keep your comment in here you have to use bad language

    June 7, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
  62. Me

    So i can no longer post ha? Will shove this up your ass

    June 7, 2012 at 12:35 am | Reply
  63. cosmicc

    There are 41 other Los Angeles Class attack subs, all of which are supposed to be replaced by Virginia Class subs. Does it make sense to spend $400 million to repair this or just speed up the replacement of this one (of course we won't consider that at total of over 50 fast attack subs, we can do without one (or more) and still have overwhelming superiority at sea.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:27 am | Reply
    • FT772

      I think the big question that is being weighed into the decision...when was she refueled? If she still has over half her fuel left, can they justify not repairing her to make use of that fuel or take the costs of having to dispose of it prematurely?

      I think that weighs more into the decision making than the asset numbers.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:31 am | Reply
      • Former Sub Sailor

        688I's not planned to be refueled, although I bet they could work it out.

        June 7, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • ludvig

      We used to have 100 nuclear attack subs and 40 boomers.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      The Navy can afford to build two Virginia's a year. How long will it take to replace those remaining LA class boats? Consider also that the US was still building LA class boats when the first examples were being decommissioned. They built them for decades, as they will the Virginia's.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  64. Jataka

    What a waste.....

    June 7, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
  65. FT772

    Some of you have no concept of the inside of a submarine. One innocent fire in the wrong place and it spreads like wildfire. With out setting foot on board, I would wager the yard worker was cleaning up his work (the workers are responsible for cleaning up their mess in the yards), sucked up a left over hot item from what he was working on, placed the vacuum probably somewhere near the outboards where that little hot item was tossed in with all sorts of other combustible items, where it then flamed out and spread to the lagging. A lagging fire is very horrible and spreads very fast. Unless they got a hose on it with 45 seconds upon it immediately starting, it was practically a done deal. Too many variables for that to happen; mainly the right time for the below decks to be doing his room round which happens once an hour (supposed to be continuous but we all know the truth about that).

    Gary Streiner, my weapons officer, who was a LCDR (O-4), was actually making more than the Army general he went to work for in the Gulf because of his sub pay and nuclear pay. As for an O-1, you have to add in incentive pays as well which includes sea pay, sub pay, and nuclear officer pay (not to exceed $20k or $25k if agreed to follow on of 3, 4, or 5 years). That incentive pay tacks on a bit money to the base pay.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
    • Jeremy

      Understand all that. What kills me is that the Navy pays sailors "sea pay". If that's the case; shouldn't Army and Marines Corps get "land pay"?

      June 7, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
      • FT772

        Why? They can call home every day, they can skype or do other video conferencing with their families. I go out to sea, all I get are emails and that isn't even completely reliable. I've gone 90 days submerged, with no fresh air, no sunlight, out of fresh fruits and vegetables for 75 of those days, the oxygen generator broke so we had to burn oxygen candles instead which put us at 17.5% oxygen levels, and to top it all off, the evaporator broke half way through so 45 days without the ability to take a shower or do laundry; all things those landlubbers in the Army and Marines never have to deal with. A standing joke between the Navy and Marines:

        "The Chief and the Gunny"

        An old Chief and an old Gunny were sitting at the VFW arguing about who'd had the tougher career. "I did 30 years in the Corps," the Gunny declared proudly, "and fought in three of my country's wars. Fresh out of boot camp I hit the beach at Okinawa, clawed my way up the blood soaked sand, and eventually took out an entire enemy machine gun nest with a single grenade.

        "As a sergeant, I fought in Korea alongside General MacArthur. We pushed back the enemy inch by bloody inch all the way up to the Chinese border, always under a barrage of artillery and small arms fire.

        "Finally, as a gunny sergeant, I did three consecutive combat tours in Vietnam. We humped through the mud and razor grass for 14 hours a day, plagued by rain and mosquitoes, ducking under sniper fire all day and mortar fire all night.
        In a fire fight, we'd fire until our arms ached and our guns were empty, then we'd charge the enemy with bayonets!"

        "Ah," said the Chief with a dismissive wave of his hand, "all shore duty, huh?"

        June 7, 2012 at 12:28 am |
      • Mike

        Nobody is stopping you from signing up. I challange any man or woman to say the nuclear pipeline is easy; with the pay comes a ahrd job and great responsibility.

        June 7, 2012 at 12:30 am |
      • Jeremy

        Sorry, but I'm not buying it. When I deployed I was gone from my family for 17 months (usual is 12; now down to 9 months). For the first 6 months of that, we got maybe 1 hot a day; showers were bottles of water left in the sun with holes poked in the lid and the water was too hot so it would burn you. We didn't have internet at our base until 7 months in. I was lucky to call home every 3-4 weeks. If somebody died, which was frequently... communications were shut off for up to 2 weeks. I'm not hating; maybe I joined the wrong service 🙂 Just saying that it isn't as bad everyone makes it sound. Hell, an entire Battalion+ lived that way. No 'land pay'. Just sayin.

        June 7, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • blessedgeek


      June 7, 2012 at 1:06 am | Reply
    • blessedgeek

      4 persons were sitting in a bar.

      An army sergeant, an air force pilot, a naval officer, and a CIA agent.

      army sergeant bragged: She was ecstatic and screamed for 5 minutes.

      air force pilot retorted: That's nothing. Mine – she screamed for half an hour.

      naval officer said omg: She was ecstatic and yelled for half a day.

      CIA agent sheepishly: She was yelling for 6 months.

      The military officers were wowed: How?

      CIA agent: I wiped on the curtains. She's still yelling now.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • jkflipflop

      I'm interested in hearing how flames "spread like wildfire" through a vessel made entirely of steel.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:36 am | Reply
      • Colin in Florida

        Paint burns, as does most electrical insulation, mattresses, clothing, etc. I forget the details, but the most fire resistant insulation is damaged by even low level radiation, so they have to use a less fire-resistant insulation in nuclear powered ships.

        June 7, 2012 at 6:35 am |
      • theykilledkenny

        Entirely of steel? Are you seriously asking that question?

        June 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  66. dou44

    Sounds like another military fantasy excuse story. I don't belive anything the US military releases to the press after the coverups of Vietnam, Iraq I and II, and Afghanistan.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      That's cool dude. Tell us more.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • Jeremy

      Such as? I'm sure the cover ups are there; but your argument doesn't hold much sway without an example.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • blessedgeek

      The moon is flat. NASA covered it up.
      Obama is actually a Russian – the Saudis covered it up.
      The planet is flat. Google earth covered it up.
      Elizabeth Taylor never posed for playboy – they covered her up.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:20 am | Reply
    • NN

      Any so-called investigations by the Navy are a joke. A good example is their laughable performance in investigating the Iowa gun turret explosion. The technical side of the Navy proved once again they're just a bunch of underpowered pretentious jokes with expensive toys they're too s t u p i d to learn how to use.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
  67. BigRed

    400,000,000 could really help with infrastructure repair of bridges and roads. Just sink the sub and use the money to make more civilian jobs.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      It isn't so easy to get rid of a nuclear reactor.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • YourMom

      Do you know how many civilians work on the submarines? I'm guessing not because the northeast economy would be completely destroyed if the shipyard shut down. But, hopefully Mittler gets into office so all our troops and this country are protected by magic underwear.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
  68. JD

    China's secret weapon is out...

    June 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Andrew

      HaHa, yup, ya just know that vac was Made-In-China.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Reply
      • bugmenot

        Who needs Stuxnet when ya got Vacsux?

        June 7, 2012 at 4:10 am |
  69. WillH85

    Our tax dolars at work. Kids go hungry in this nation while we blow $400M on a sub because of a faulty vacuum cleaner. I love this country's priorities.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Reply
    • takenobull

      WilllH85 with no national defense the chinese would work our kids to death they wouldn't need food yo fool

      June 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Reply
    • Chuck

      But if they spent money a few hundred thousand dollars testing the vacuum design to make sure this wouldn't happen, people would complain about the $2,000 vacuum cleaner.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply
    • SSGT

      If you dont like the way our chosen leaders are spending the money.....well than GET OUT!!!

      June 7, 2012 at 12:41 am | Reply
  70. q

    while it is true that all military are paid on a scale of rank, but they do get different incentive pay to go on a submarine, which does give them more than there counterparts on the surface ships.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  71. Portland tony

    Actually the contractors are responsible for clearing debris or securing equipment at days end. Dust etc is the crew's responsibility. Unless the shop-vac picked up some hot or combustible material which ignited, it should have been secured (unplugged) and stored away. Navy needs to dig a little deeper!

    June 6, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  72. justin

    who brought the marshmellows?

    June 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  73. Sha*Boom

    Yea,Why didn't they have a smoke alarm or a sprinker system? or they left it out in the plans when building it? Or did it cost to much? what another 10 million?

    June 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Reply
    • WetNoodle

      Yes .... a sprinkler system on a submarine ..... brilliant. Next it should have a fire escape.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  74. Truth-In

    Unlike some people (like certain low-information voters from yesterday's Wisconsin tragedy), I'd personally rather support public worker unions and my fellow citizens with my tax dollars, rather than unnecessary boondoggle "defense" contractors. That's almost half a billion dollars! For one little fire. The U.S. military–and the MIC–are the REAL welfare leeches in this country, and you know it, and the facts and reality bear this out.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Reply
    • HA!

      Spoken like a child that just had his toy taken away.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
      • Rogue351

        Yes and your message was spoken like the true a$$ hat you are. Wake up and stop listening to the right millitant haters. American should be spending more on helping people rather than paying defense contractors billions for more toys to kill people with. And like the true a$$ hat you are I am 100% certain you will twist my words up until hand outs are given to every man woman and child Democrate in the USA. No the money should be used to pay the debt and build a better educational structor in this contry that does not require a person go a 100K in debt or come from a rich family to be able to get a degree. Education is the future not guns, rockets and a$$ hat tea party members.

        June 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
      • Jeremy

        Rogue; I definitely think you could benefit from some of that education 'structor'... No doubt the military needs to be curtailed on spending; it is ridiculous. However; with over 40% of Americans receiving some type of government assistance what exactly do you propose? Scrap the military and give 90% of Americans handouts? The problem is that too many worthless people mooch off the government and the number of actual workers to moocher ratio continues to decline. Even you should be able to see that is a losing strategy.

        June 7, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • DAT

      Exactly what caused you to conclude it was a "little fire?"

      June 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      You are disgusting. Not supporting our troops risking their lives so that you can live freely? Leave the United States if you dislike it so much.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
      • Rogue351

        Hey, suggesting that we cut our military budget is NOT going against our troops. I am all for the troops. I think we should stop putting them in harms way for oil. They should only be used as needed, not as a world police force with the middle class of American picking up the tab. It is a simple logic that you tea jockeys cant get into your head. If we stay out of other countries business and focus on building our education systems and products here at home we will still be the world leaders. Exactly how many jobs has Mitt shipped over seas ? Should the military be paying 10K for a 2k out house because it needs to be mill spec, NO ? Should our jets be the best in the world ? YES point is government contractors regardless of the item are way over pricing the product. Remind me who exactly it was that sent Military hummers into battle that had no armor ? And then charged the government billions to armor the trucks that should have been combat ready in the first place. I agree cut military spending and put it into keeping jobs at home and companies at home. Not sending our boys either to work or to war over seas. Oh and by the way any government contractor CEO should pay 99% in taxes since they have taken much much more than their fa share over the last 10 years. I am sure they would still be able to afford everything even on 1%, Moron.

        June 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
      • Rogue351

        BTW – BILL you are the disgusting thinking that the military should have an open budget. That is called reckless spending. Rather it is done bailing out car companies or spent building more machines that kill people it all amounts to reckless spending. Suggesting we cut our military spending is not anti American or Anti Troop. If you had any clue how budgets are calculated for during and after war time you would be speaking a different tune. I have an idea, try reading up on a subject before you comment that way you will not look like such an a$$ hat. But I guess that is the problem with Repubs and Tea Baggers in the first place, they have all listened to the Media and been terribly miss informed. OPEN A BOOK !!

        June 6, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
      • Jataka

        No one has ever risked their life for me, and I don't see anyone invading America anytime soon. Your brainwashed; get your head out of your ass, fat boy.

        June 7, 2012 at 12:07 am |
      • setnommarih

        Rogue351-what a crybaby, is that what dems do when they lose one, get all teary eyed and all. Should we send you some Kleenex so you can wipe that little snotty nose and maybe some diapers for your little soiled breeches. Pathetic, just pathetic.

        June 7, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • FT772

      If not for the military, we would have been over run years ago. Plus they perform a service, sometimes giving the ultimate sacrifice to bring freedom to another country to enjoy the rights that we take for granted. What do the welfare recipients do for their checks other than show up at the welfare office?

      As for budgets, I never like to go in depth on politics on a first date =P

      June 7, 2012 at 12:13 am | Reply
      • Michael

        No offense, but I am in the Army and this nation cannot be overrun by anyone. We have oceans acting as the perfect defense. No nation even like China could even invade because the logistics behind such an invasion would make it practically impossible. The US military is not for defense no matter how people try to claim it as such. It's a foreign policy tool is all I am out to be...and a revenge tool for when someone does attack the US on our soil which has only happened on a huge scale on 9/11 by terrorists and also Pearl Harbor back in 1941 so....I fully believe we do spend a bit too much on the military.

        June 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • setnommarih

      Please change your name to "Lyin" since that is all you can do, you big crybaby. Should we give you a bottle to suck on you wimpering goat.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
    • TJ

      You voted for the people that gave the military thier money AND tell them what they can spend it on. Basically, any defense tax dollars you feel have been wasted is on YOU. The military works FOR elected civilian leaders. Thats why the pres is the commander in chief.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  75. Michael Bottorff

    America is nuclear dumb. Not your fault. We do not learn about it except for the news, and they only get about 5 percent correct. If the nuke was removed? The nuke is a nuclear reactor. It was not removed, and no, it cannot catch on fire from a flame. Based on the other posts, none of you were in the military or have ever served on a submarine. Stick to being quiet and let us guess if you are less informed.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  76. musiczineguy

    I just know it was a Dyson.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  77. Mr. Potato Head

    They were using the vacuum to pleasure themselves. They are just trying to cover that aspect up

    June 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  78. George

    Well that sucks (or doesn't anymore)...

    June 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  79. Jon

    Let me guess......

    Work was completed by the contractor. The E3 standing fire watch was tasked by some Chief to get a vacuum and clean the work site, though the Chief had no idea what sort of work (as in hot work) happened there. The E3 probably told the Chief, but the Chief is one of those type A dorks who is always right, and automatically starts yelling at the E3 to do it and stop arguing and probably all kinds of other stuff. Because though fire watches are important, it still amounts to a low rank Sailor doing nothing, and that irritates many Chiefs who are impacted by group think.

    So the E3 vacuumed it up and stowed the vacuum, where the hot work caught other things on fire and thus the large blaze.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • FT772

      Every time I was in the yards (4 times), the contractor was held accountable for policing their work space with a member of the crew verifying before they knocked off.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:07 am | Reply
  80. NN

    Well- just call that half a billion $ down the drain due to typical apathetic Navy employees and contractors. Guess no one was specifically assigned to secure the workplace so it wasn't anyone's job to turn the vacuum cleaner off. Quite the elite organization there!

    June 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • Just Me

      No where in this article did it say the vacuum was left on. I have heard of vacuums that turned on itself after it had been shut off. I also know fires have started from vacuums being turned off but not unplugged. The way products are being made so cheap now a days and in China, it doesn't surprise me things like this can happen. It's a warning to all of us on most electrical products we purchase BEWARE! unplug when not in use.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Reply
    • Drew

      True, I hope the contractor gets to pay for most of the cost... but then they'll just add it to the bill as they always do. Stupid complacency...

      June 7, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
  81. jim

    8 pound Orek?

    June 6, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • Whombatt

      Oreck vacuums really suck!

      June 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • TJ

      Oreck and Dyson are not sold to the navy. Sounds like you had a bad experience with Oreck.

      June 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  82. Will S

    ...or they could just decommission it and do without.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Reply
    • ML

      Do without?? They'd effectively be making a profit!

      June 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • Former Sub Sailor

      or they could make it a MTS (moored training ship) for our Nukes in school in Charleston so they can learn on a more modern submarine power plant.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:24 am | Reply
  83. Gary Streiner

    It doesn't matter if the nuke is removed from the sub. The active particles will and can explode when presented with a flame.This is simple knowledge and the Navy is putting it off as just a simple fire..This is why I don't vote!

    June 6, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • Gearloose


      June 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
    • Jay

      Ignorance is bliss, isn't it Gary? There are so many untruths in what you just wrote, I don't even know where to begin to correct you.

      The ship is nuclear powered. There are no nukes onboard. Even if the ship were capable of carrying nukes, they wouldn't be onboard when it was in the shipyard.

      Next... Active particles? Active particles of what? The reactor is completely isolated on any US SSN/SSBN, so there can't be any particles from there... so, there are active particles of what???

      I'm a former submariner, and I easily believe what the supposed cause was – and once a fire starts on a submarine, it's a hellish place to be. For others here to show their ignorance (and I'm not saying ignorance is a bad thing, but if you don't know the environment, please zip it) by saying how much does a fire extinguisher cost, they have NO idea what it is like down there. Wireways all over for fires to travel through, all sorts of places for a fire to hide outboard,in bilges and under decks, etc.

      Normally, I try to persuade people to vote, as it is their responsibility in a democracy to do so; however, in your case, we're all going to make an exception. Please don't.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Reply
      • Skipper

        Jay.... I think the problem is that Gary, a submarine "expert" as a result of reading everything Tom Clancy has ever written, is very very stoned. Gary: Thank you for not voting.

        June 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
      • polycarp pio

        Your right Jay, Gary doesnt have a clue, I was aboard the USS Holland AS-32 a nuke sub tender . We dropped a polaris missile on the deck in Rota, Spain, those things are very difficult to detonate. PP

        June 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
      • SkipperII

        for a 3rd squid or past squid, I would second the first and last 2 ONLY logical recommendations, that he not vote.but this is amercia,everyone gets freedom,whether they have earned it,know what it means, or not...Hey you guys catch the Sub Races up at Annapolis last weekend? Lost $100 spot by one prop length. oh well, maybe next time. Actiive Particles., it may be a good idea to check for Free Radicals in your system,prior to making reference to Active Particles. JES US, Morons.

        June 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
      • TJ

        Jay, spot on response. In addition to not wanting him to vote I think we should also not allow him to breed:) He must have it made sitting in the cheap seats.

        June 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Jerry

      No, Gary, you don't vote because you are a lazy, paranoid, delusional, self-centered idiot who cannot be bothered with living up to his obligations to his country and his fellow citizens.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Craig

      Given the vast amount of bad information in your post, the one good thing is that you don't vote.

      1. The reactor was non-defueled. It was shut down...had been for two months, and was cold. It was also physically isolated from the spaces where the fire occurred, and, in fact, the reactor compartments were manned during the entire fire.

      2. There is NOTHING nuclear that will explode when contacted by open flame. Nothing!

      3. The spaces inside the sub are completely devoid of nuclear material, dust, debris, and anything else remotely radio-active. If they weren't, sailors couldn't work in them for 90 day patrols. In fact, the Navy has NEVER had a single nuclear "accident." Never ever!

      4. Nuclear weapons can be incinerated and not detonate unless armed. Even then, they cannot be armed without meeting specific criteria. For example, a missile-launched weapon cannot detonate unless the missile has been launched and some other specific criteria have been met. The same is true for torpedo warheads of any type. Since none of them were on-board anyway, there could not possibly be any danger.

      Fires on subs are dangerous, but mainly because when deployed, subs can't just automatically surface, and the air supply is finite. One of the biggest training programs in the Navy teaches all sub sailors how to deal with fires, and...it works! It's likely few if any of the sub's crew were even on-board when the fire started. There would be some Navy personnel there, but they would be responsible for the dockside work and not the operation of the boat.

      So...until we know more, the jury is still out. In the meantime, why don't you keep your comments...and utter lack of knowledge about anything relevant...to yourself.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • cosmicc

      If you don't vote, you're part of the problem.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
    • FT772

      If you don't vote, you better not whine about the government as you did not influence the direction the government took, one way or another.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
  84. Skeptic

    Today the United States doesn't make any vacuum cleaners. They are likely all made in China. Why are the damages so high? Remember we paid $500 for a toilet seat and $2000 for a screw? At that kind of pricing structure, it adds up very quickly.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
    • Chal803

      Riccar, Simplicity Vacuum Cleaners, Oreck. Just to name a few!

      June 6, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Reply
      • Viet Nam Era Vet

        Like that Riccar! Have one and it's great! Tired of that stuff from Fuking China!

        June 7, 2012 at 12:00 am |
      • TJ

        Oreck and Dyson are not sold to the Navy

        June 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  85. My Money

    This thing must cost over a billion dollars and it doesn't have any sprinkler system to put what would have started out as a very small fire? Good grief!

    June 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Reply
    • FT772

      Nope, no room. As it is the thing is already packed with equipment and piping. Normally, the concern is at sea where all the systems are up and running but there are manned watches in every space underway. In port, a completely different story. A roving below decks watch that does an hourly round taking various gauge readings, security, and fire patrol.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
  86. allenwoll

    Something is fishy here ! ! ! . I presume this includes a $399-mil contract to Halliburton for "damage assessment" (Two pages).

    June 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  87. David

    What brand of vacuum was that? Because I would like to cross that brand off on my future searchs for vacuums.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
    • Tboon

      It was likely something like a cigarette but or other hot item igniting trash and had nothing to do with the vacuum brand itself. I'm guessing of course, though.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  88. Duck Duck Goose

    No death of any of the baby killers serving the military industrial complex? Bummer...

    June 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply

      Should change your handle to GOOF GOOF ASS,ya Moron

      June 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      What a stupid comment. I certainly hope you don't live in the US because if you do, you should leave.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
      • Weasley

        Ignore Goose. Likely someone from China. I hear they pay people to post such useless drivel on American news sites and blogs just to stir up trouble.

        June 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Gearloose

      I, for one, have a great respect and appreciation for the men and women who serve in our armed forces.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      Why don't you move to Iran. You would fit in perfectly.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
    • ludvig

      No baby killers in subs. If you want to see what they may or may not do, read Blind man's bluff. It's a good book. Keep their eyes on the other side and make sure we don't have another Pearl Harbor.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:52 am | Reply
    • bluegillonthefly

      You don't find baby killers on subs. You find them in abortion mills, and you leftist pieces of garbage seem to find baby killing just grand.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:27 am | Reply
  89. Meki60

    probably a Sears vac

    June 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply
    • David

      Sadly I had a brand new craftsman wet and dry vac, that really did catch on fire, some years ago. Another thing, I was not vacuuming up wet stuff, it was all dry stuff, so you are not far from the truth there..

      June 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  90. ALL uh

    The military could do twice as much with half the money, but then Raytheon, Haliburton and other military industrial complex companies could not rape the country's treasury.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Reply
    • Truth-In

      Here, here, speak on it brother.

      June 6, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  91. Thomas Smith

    I wonder if the sub's crew is going to be accountable for the repairs price tag.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Reply
    • ALL uh

      Uh, they make about $1600/mo

      June 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Reply
      • JR

        They make a whole hell of alot more than that.... Submariners are some of the highest paid in the Navy- salaries for officers START at $80k lol

        June 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
      • Gary Streiner

        JR I believe you are misinformed..An O-1 officer is paid the same regardless of branch. An O-1 makes roughly $3k a month far from $80k a year.

        June 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
      • BigRed

        You need to take a look at the Navy pay scales, and include in hazard pay,free medical care, free housing for families, the GI bill, untaxed food and goods at NAVEX, and early retirement. Put it all together and you get a nice little package. All paid for by the American taxpayer.

        June 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
      • FT772

        My last year in I made $76k as an E-6 and that is NOT including tax free money, ie BAH, COLA.

        June 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
      • soul316

        Haven't served on a ship personally, but it's probably safe to assume there are many more enlisted than officers on board, which means they probably make less than 80k. However, if you would not risk your life for 80k then I suggest you stop whining about sailors making close to 80k with everything added in.

        Also, last I checked food is not taxed, because it is an essential, I'm not sure if that is true everywhere but the places I have lived I haven't been taxed for food.

        June 7, 2012 at 12:05 am |
      • Michael

        Every pay grade is different and also for them in particular you gotta figure submarine pay or whatever else they get. I'm Army so idk all that Navy garbage.

        June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  92. nauticalman

    A vacuum cleaner was allegedly left running after hours and casued extensive damage to the clipper ship Cutty Sark during her recent renovation in England.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  93. farleyjc

    400 mil in damages? How much is a fire extinguisher?

    June 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
    • mike

      Govt. contracted fire extinguishers are $401M ea.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  94. ALL uh

    That's the military!

    June 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • larry

      yeah maybe we should become a socialist country... i love government handouts... end all defence and put it towards my food stamps plz!

      June 7, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
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