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Norway plans to raise sunken German sub with a cargo of mercury

The Norwegian government has announced plans to raise from the sea bottom a German submarine that sank in 1945, in an effort to remove the threat to the environment posed by the sub's cargo of mercury.

"We made the decision because we are worried about the danger to the environment, to the health of fishermen, and the local population," said Helga Pedersen, the Norwegian minister of fisheries.

The German U-864 was sunk in the North Sea by the British sub Venturer in 1945.

The entire crew of 73 people of the U-boat was killed. The sub was heading to Japan with a cargo of mercury intended for the production of weapons and the creation of a new jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 262.

The U-864, which has been split in two with an explosion, now lies 150 meters under water 3.7 kilometers from the Fede Island west of the Norwegian coast. Each year the sub leaks a few kilograms of mercury. The technically challenging task of raising the sub to the surface will be conducted by Mammoet, the Danish engineering company that raised the Russian submarine Kurk from the bottom of the Barents Sea.

The U-boat will be raised in 2010, according to plans. The cost of the operation has been estimated at $US 146 million.

Translation: RusNavy.com

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