Protests Over U.S. Navy Base
Thursday, November 03, 2005
U.S. plans to base a nuclear submarine in the Mediterranean have been met with protests in the Italian island of Sardinia and its French neighbor of Corsica. The U.S. Department of Defense says it wants to extend Commander Squadron Submarine 22, an Orlando, Fla.-based reserve unit, on the Mediterranean island of San Stephano. Critics say health and environmental consequences of accidents and other problems associated with the submarines should be enough to keep the vessels well away from Corsica and Sardinia. Environmentalists point to a 2003 incident in which the nuclear-powered submarine USS Hartford was damaged 6 miles off the Corsican coast. The United States downplayed the protests, but still ordered the ship to Norfolk, Va.