WorldWideScience

Sample records for supertankers

  1. How to seal a supertanker

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cross, M.; Hamer, M.

    1992-01-01

    Twenty-five years ago, a ship called the Torrey Canyon, ran aground on a notorious reef off the southwest corner of England. The wreck was unusually dramatic because the Torrey Canyon was an unusually large ship and its cargo was crude oil. Despite the efforts of salvage teams and attempts to set it alight by dropping bombs, around 120 000 tonnes of oil leaked out, creating havoc on holiday beaches and killing thousands of sea birds. The age of the supertanker spill had arrived. Most oil tankers are as unsafe today as those in service 25 years ago when the Torrey Canyon accident created the world's worst oil slick. Now the shipping industry wants to make amends. (author)

  2. Space shuttle with common fuel tank for liquid rocket booster and main engines (supertanker space shuttle)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorpe, Douglas G.

    1991-01-01

    An operation and schedule enhancement is shown that replaces the four-body cluster (Space Shuttle Orbiter (SSO), external tank, and two solid rocket boosters) with a simpler two-body cluster (SSO and liquid rocket booster/external tank). At staging velocity, the booster unit (liquid-fueled booster engines and vehicle support structure) is jettisoned while the remaining SSO and supertank continues on to orbit. The simpler two-bodied cluster reduces the processing and stack time until SSO mate from 57 days (for the solid rocket booster) to 20 days (for the liquid rocket booster). The areas in which liquid booster systems are superior to solid rocket boosters are discussed. Alternative and future generation vehicles are reviewed to reveal greater performance and operations enhancements with more modifications to the current methods of propulsion design philosophy, e.g., combined cycle engines, and concentric propellant tanks.

  3. Supertankers are threatening the Norwegian coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steensen, Anders J.; Haaland, Leif

    2003-01-01

    The article has three sections. The first discusses the environmental problems the tanker traffic poses to the Norwegian coastal waters and shores. Various precautionary measures and requirements are briefly presented. The size of the present marine transportation and the future Russian marine petroleum activity in the Barents area are briefly mentioned. The second named, conflicting exploration drilling, presents the conflicting interests regarding exploratory drilling in the Barents Sea in Norway. The environmental problems are large and have lead to an on-going reevaluation. Some pollution abatement measures are mentioned. The regional economic development is briefly outlined. The third deals with the Norwegian governmental safety activities and presents a brief survey of the official safety activities in the petroleum sector in Norway and the international cooperation particularly with the Russian Federation. The emphasis is on the maritime security, the safety of the maritime transportation systems, the environmental aspects such as pollution management and on the legal frameworks

  4. SUPERTANK Laboratory Data Collection Project. Volume 1. Main Text

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    where strain gauges detect strains caused by pressure. It measures absolute pressure. Pore pressure sensor. The Druck miniature pore water pressure...from a DRUCK precision pressure transducer and an environ , ntal enclosure fitted with a porous stone. DRUCK model PDCR 10 total pressure transducers...dune 2C Test 1 11 dune 3C 14 berm 4C 24 sub-aerial profile 5C 28 sub-aerial profile 23 Aug 91 3D Pro-Dune erosion 14 dune 2D Test 2 20 dune I D 24

  5. Use of offshore mooring platform for sea wave motion analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cicconi, G.; Dagnino, I.; Papa, L.

    1979-01-01

    An offshore mooring platform for supertankers may often turn out to be an ideal solution for the problem of installing a meteorological station. Its location may be particularly desirable for the purpose of recording and analysing sea wave motion in deep water or in the intermediate zone between shallow and deep water. The preliminary results obtained through the operation of a subsurface sensor at the mooring platform off the harbour of Genova are reported. (author)

  6. Use of offshore mooring platform for sea wave motion analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cicconi, G.; Dagnino, I.; Papa, L. (Genova Univ. (Italy). Ist. Geofisica e Geodetico); Basano, L.; Ottonello, P. (Genoa Univ. (Italy))

    An offshore mooring platform for supertankers may often turn out to be an ideal solution for the problem of installing a meteorological station. Its location may be particularly desirable for the purpose of recording and analysing sea wave motion in deep water or in the intermediate zone between shallow and deep water. The preliminary results obtained through the operation of a subsurface sensor at the mooring platform off the harbour of Genova are reported.

  7. Assessment of the behavior of oil in the tanks of the Prestige in the Atlantic deep sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María J. Marcos

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available The sinking of the Prestige supertanker off the coast of Spain in November 2002 led to one of the most devastating oil spills ever worldwide. Between 13,800 and 37,500 tons of oil still remain inside the wreckage. The mid-range and long-term behaviour of oil temperature and leaks were analysed to decide whether the oil could be pumped out in the current conditions. Past and present conditions near the wreckage were analysed, considering depth, water pressure, estimated oil behaviour inside the tanks, and possible future hull corrosion. A similar analysis may be useful in the management of future wreckages.

  8. Coastal effects of offshore energy systems. An assessment of oil and gas systems, deepwater ports, and nuclear power plants off the coast of New Jersey and Delaware. Volume II. Parts 1 and 2. Working papers 4 thru 10

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-11-01

    This report consists of ten working papers prepared as background material for the assessment of the effects of three proposed offshore energy systems on the coastal areas of New Jersey and Delaware. The three proposed offshore energy systems are: exploration for and development of offshore oil and gas, deepwater ports for supertankers, and floating nuclear powerplants. The 10 working papers cover: federal and state regulation of the three systems, the biological impacts, the risk of oil spills in developing oil and gas resources and operating deepwater ports, the air and water quality impacts, regional energy supply and demand considerations, the fiscal effects of developing the three systems, environmental studies, a safety analysis of floating nuclear powerplants, an analysis of fuel and waste handling of floating nuclear powerplants, and an analysis of the economic considerations of floating nuclear powerplants

  9. Impacts of an oil spill on the marine environment of the United Arab Emirates along the Gulf of Oman

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shriadah, M.M.A.

    1998-01-01

    On the evening of 31 March 1994, a quantity (16 000 t) of Iranian crude oil leaked into the Gulf of Oman 9.5 miles outside the Al-Fujirah port entrance after a collision between the tanker 'Baynunah' and the supertanker 'Seki'. Clean-up operations which started within 1 h and 40 min of the collision could remove only 2000 t of oil from the sea, and failed to contain the spill. After 4 days, the floating oil hit the shoreline of the United Arab Emirates and contaminated about 20 km of shoreline. The main objectives of this paper are to evaluate the concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons and organic carbon contents at the time of the incident and to assess, in July and November 1994, the recovery of the marine environment after a period of about 8 months. (author)

  10. Characterization of alkanes, hopanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in tar-balls collected from the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandru, Kuhan; Zakaria, Mohamad Pauzi; Anita, Sofia; Shahbazi, Azadeh; Sakari, Mahyar; Bahry, Pourya Shahpoury; Mohamed, Che Abd Rahim

    2008-05-01

    The East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia faces the South China Sea and is vulnerable to oil pollution because of intense petroleum production activities in the area. The South China Sea is also a favored route for supertankers carrying crude oil to the Far East. Consequently, oil spills can occur, causing pollution and contamination in the surrounding areas. Residual oil spills stranded on coastal beaches usually end up as tar-balls. Elucidating the sources of tar-balls using a molecular marker approach is essential in assessing environmental impacts and perhaps settling legal liabilities for affected parties. This study utilizes a multimodal molecular marker approach through the use of diagnostic ratios of alkanes, hopanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to determine the source, distribution and weathering of tar-balls. Hopane ratios (e.g., C29/C30, and summation C31-C35/C30 ratios) were used to identify the sources of tar-balls. The weathering effects were distinguished by using alkanes, namely the unresolved complex mixture (UCM) and low molecular weight/high molecular weight (L/H) ratios. Similarly, PAHs were also used for the determination of weathering processes undergone by the tar-balls. This multimodal molecular marker gave a very strong indication of the sources of tar-balls in this study. For example, 16 out of 17 samples originated from South East Asian Crude Oil (SEACO) with one sample from Merang, Terengganu originating from North Sea Oil (Troll). The TRME-2 sample may have come from a supertanker's ballast water discharge. The second possibility is that the tar-ball may have been transported via oceanographic currents. All 'weathered' sample characterizations were based on the presence of UCM and other ratios. The multimodal molecular marker approach applied in this study has enabled us to partially understand the transport behavior of tar-balls in the marine environment and has revealed insights into the weathering process of tar-balls.

  11. Seas must live

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-10-01

    The World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) campaign to protect the marine environment has recently received effective financial and moral support from a variety of sources. The Charles E. Merrill Fund made a $100,000 grant to the conservation program to help finance WWF's project concerning the western Pacific archipelago of Palau, the site of a proposed multimillion dollar oil supertanker port and industrial complex. WWF will conduct an independent study to provide an assessment of the ecological, economic, and social consequences of the planned superport. T. Heyerdahl offered his services as a spokesman for WWF's series of advertisements aimed at promoting public interest in conservation of the marine environment. Part of the money raised by the WWF will be used by the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC) in a project designed to ensure that the goals of protection and preservation embodied in environmental laws are carried out along the Atlantic coast. The WWF grant enables the NRDC to employ the services of a marine biologist for one year.

  12. Nuclear energy and the fossil fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Folinsbee, R E

    1970-01-01

    The energy phenomenon of the first half of this century has been the increase in the use of petroleum and natural gas as fuels. World demand for petroleum energy has been increasing at the rate of 11% per yr. This demand is unsustainable, for the supply, as with any exhaustible resource, is limited. The continental energy policy is essentially one of integrating the North American supply and demand picture for the fossil fuels, using oil and gas from the interior of the continent to supply demand from the interior and using overseas supplies, up the limit of national security, for energy users farthest removed from these sources. The economics of expensive pipeline transportation as against cheap supertankers dictates this policy. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the fuel of the future will be nuclear, and for this century almost entirely the energy of fission rather than of fusion. Recent estimates suggest that as much as 50% of the energy for the U.S. will be nuclear by the year 2,000, and for Canada the more modest National Energy Board estimate holds that in 1990, 35% of Canadian electric generation will be by nuclear power reactors concentrated in the fuel-starved province of Ontario. (17 refs.)

  13. Effect of welding structure and δ-ferrite on fatigue properties for TIG welded austenitic stainless steels at cryogenic temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuri, Tetsumi; Ogata, Toshio; Saito, Masahiro; Hirayama, Yoshiaki

    2000-04-01

    High-cycle and low-cycle fatigue properties of base and weld metals for SUS304L and SUS316L and the effects of welding structure and δ-ferrite on fatigue properties were investigated at cryogenic temperatures in order to evaluate the long-life reliability of the structural materials to be used in liquid hydrogen supertankers and storage tanks and to develop a welding process for these applications. The S-N curves of the base and weld metals shifted towards higher levels, i.e., the longer life side, with decreasing test temperatures. High-cycle fatigue tests demonstrated the ratios of fatigue strength at 10 6 cycles to tensile strength of the weld metals to be 0.35-0.7, falling below those of base metals with decreasing test temperatures. Fatigue crack initiation sites in SUS304L weld metals were mostly at blowholes with diameters of 200-700 μm, and those of SUS316L weld metals were at weld pass interface boundaries. Low-cycle fatigue tests revealed the fatigue lives of the weld metals to be somewhat lower than those of the base metals. Although δ-ferrite reduces the toughness of austenitic stainless steels at cryogenic temperatures, the effects of δ-ferrite on high-cycle and low-cycle fatigue properties are not clear or significant.

  14. Nutrient-enhanced bioremediation of oil-contaminated shoreline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glaser, J.A.

    1991-01-01

    On March 24, 1989, the collision of the supertanker Exxon Valdez with a submerged reef in Prince William Sound AK, released 41.6 million L (11 million gal) of Prudhoe Bay crude oil. The oil spread with time to contaminate an estimated 565 km (350 miles) of shoreline. The degradation of oil components by biological mechanisms has been intensively studied during the last 20 years. The general outline of biodegradation pathways for aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons has been formulated and continues to be developed in greater detail. Consequently, the microbial decomposition of oil in aquatic environments is well understood to include descriptions of biodegradation kinetics; temperature effects for biodegradation can be described by an Arrhenius relationship. Even cold-water environments have been shown to support the biodegradation of oil components. This paper reports that a panel of experts was assembled to assist the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in determining the best treatment strategy to accelerate the natural biodegradation process in Prince William Sound

  15. Sector profile: Petroleum sector in Cuba

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-02-01

    The Cuban oil industry started in 1860 when an oil well was drilled in Matanzas province. About 200 wells were drilled up until 1959. In the past 30 years, the oil industry has become a priority sector; in 1985-1990, about US$500 million were invested in the industry, with increases in exploration and well drilling activity. Recently completed works include pipelines and a supertanker terminal. About 10 million tons of oil are imported annually and local production averages about 800,000 metric tons per year. Most of the oil found in Cuba so far is of the heavy type, as found in western Canada. There are about 10 small and medium-sized oil deposits, mainly located in the north. The most promising oil field is at Varadero, whose characteristics are similar to the Cold Lake field in Alberta. Cuban oil refining capacity is over 7.6 million metric tons per year, and additional capacity is being constructed. All imports of oil industry equipment are conducted via state trading agencies. Export opportunities of interest to Canadian companies are outlined, along with monetary constraints affecting imports to Cuba, financing and export insurance programs available to Canadian companies, and recommendations to Canadian exporters. A list of industry/government contacts is included

  16. Climate Change Impacts on Runoff Regimes at a River Basin Scale in Central Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Do Hoai Nam

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Global warming has resulted in significant variability of global climate especially with regard to variation in temperature and precipitation. As a result, it is expected that river flow regimes will be accordingly varied. This study presents a preliminary projection of medium-term and long-term runoff variation caused by climate change at a river basin scale. The large scale precipitation projection at the middle and the end of the 21st century under the A1B scenario simulated by the CGCM model (MRI & JMA, 300 km resolution is statistically downscaled to a basin scale and then used as input for the super-tank model for runoff analysis at the upper Thu Bon River basin in Central Vietnam. Results show that by the middle and the end of this century annual rainfall will increase slightly; together with a rising temperature, potential evapotranspiration is also projected to increase as well. The total annual runoff, as a result, is found to be not distinctly varied relative to the baseline period 1981 - 2000; however, the runoff will decrease in the dry season and increase in the rainy season. The results also indicate the delay tendency of the high river flow period, shifting from Sep-Dec at present to Oct-Jan in the future. The present study demonstrates potential impacts of climate change on streamflow regimes in attempts to propose appropriate adaptation measures and responses at the river basin scales.

  17. Federal cabinet minister from N.B joins opponents to LNG terminals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morris, C.

    2005-08-25

    This article addressed the debate regarding the United States' proposal to construct liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities on a pristine bay between New Brunswick and Maine. Two LNG projects are currently being promoted for Passamaquoddy Bay, and 2 more proposals are expected to be announced in the near future. However, the proponents have not yet submitted any formal applications to the Canadian government. A federal cabinet minister from New Brunswick has joined the growing opposition to the proposed project, claiming that the location on the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay, a large inlet off the Bay of Fundy, poses too many risks to the habitat of several endangered or at-risk species, including the North Atlantic Right Whale. The proposed sites in Maine are directly across a narrow bay where tourism and fishing are prime industries in New Brunswick. The cabinet minister claims that with over 2,000 miles of coastline on the eastern seaboard, another location can be found for the LNG facilities that would not present navigational difficulties. The Canadian federal government has the jurisdiction to stop the project by not allowing the supertankers to cross Canadian waters to enter the Bay. The waters are known for their treacherous navigation. The premier of New Brunswick has also stepped in to ensure that the governor of Maine is made aware of Canada's opposition to the project. Officials with Downeast LNG and Quoddy Bay LLC claim there would not be any safety or environmental risks associated with the LNG project.

  18. Oil Spill Public Information Center: Its role in the flow of information on the Exxon Valdez oil spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holba, C.; McGee, M.; Thompson, P.

    1993-01-01

    On March 24, 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez struck a sub- merged rock pinnacle at Bligh Reef, puncturing eight of its storage tanks. Within hours, 11 million gallons of crude oil were dumped into the waters of Prince William Sound. The cleanup, damage assessment, and restoration activities undertaken for this environmentally complex area presented multifaceted challenges to public and private organizations and various professional disciplines. One of these challenges was obtaining and disseminating prespill, spill, and postspill information for both the private and public sector. The Oil Spill Public Information Center (OSPIC) was created for this purpose by the US Department of Justice on behalf of the federal trustees. Its management has since been assumed by the restoration team, an arm of the state-federal Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. On October 8, 1991, a settlement agreement was approved in United States District Court, which required Exxon to pay $1 billion in criminal restitution and civil damages to the United States and the state of Alaska. The settlement terms specify that the Trustee Council shall establish procedures providing for meaningful public participation in the injury assessment and restoration process. Consistent with that mandate, the OSPIC is responsible for providing a repository for all material related to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, The OSPIC is a specialized library open to the public. Its function is to collect, organize, and make accessible materials generated by state and federal agencies and the private sector as a result of the cleanup, damage assessment, and restoration activities of the spill. The OSPIC staff is also identifying and collecting baseline studies in the Prince William Sound and Gulf of Alaska areas, as well as materials on cold water marine spills. The OSPIC serves a variety of patrons, including industry, the oil spill response community, state and federal agencies, scientists, etc

  19. Dosages d'hydrocarbures dans l'eau et le sédiment marins par infrarouge et chromatographie gazeuse sur colonne capillaire Hydrocarbon Titration in Water and Marine Sediments by Infrared Analysis and Gas Chromatography in a Capillary Column

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morel G.

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Nous avons étudié l'évolution des hydrocarbures pétroliers dans un site confiné, celui de l'Aber-Benoît (Finistère, à la suite de l'accident du super-pétrolier Amoco-Cadiz en mars 1978. Pour ce faire, plusieurs méthodes ont été mises en oeuvre, et tout particulièrement la chromato-graphie gazeuse sur colonne capillaire : le protocole analytique est décrit pour l'eau et pour le sédiment, après optimisation des techniques de filtration, de préconcentration et de fractionnement préalables à la mesure. Il est possible de travailler sur des échantillons de deux litres d'eau de mer ou de cinquante grammes de sédiment, avec des seuils de détection du niveau de la partie par trillion (ppt dans l'eau et de la centaine de ppt dans le sédiment. The evolution of petroleum hydrocarbons was analyzed in a confined site, at Aber-Benoît in the Finistère department, following the accident of the supertanker Amoco Cadiz in March 1978. To do this, several methods were developed, including, in particular, capillary coulumn as chromatography. The analytical procedure is described for water and sediment after optimization of filtering, preconcentrating and fractionating techniques prior to measuring. Analyses can be made with two liters of seawater or fifty grams of sediment, with detection thresholds in parts per trillion (ppt in water and the hundredth of a ppt in sediment.

  20. Atlantic Canada : recipe for ruin, loophole in Canadian tanker laws questioned

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reid, W.

    2001-01-01

    During a storm in December 2000, the captain of a leaking supertanker named the Eastern Power requested permission to dock his 339-metre ship at Come by Chance in Newfoundland. The request was denied by Transport Canada and the barge carrying 1.9 million barrels of oil had to ride out the storm just outside Canada's 200-mile limit. The concern was that the hull might split and spill huge amounts of oil. The Eastern Power has only one hull and is twice the age that the Prevention of Pollution from Ships considers reasonable for the lifespan of a vessel. Tankers built after 1993 are required to have an inside and an outside frame in order to enter Canadian waters. Those that are not double hulled and built before 1993 will be phased out by 2015. The spokesman for Transport Canada explained that the concern regarding the Eastern Power was for the Canadian environment. Owners are responsible for making sure that their ships do not risk our environment. An added precaution requires that all ships radio the Canadian Coast Guard 24 hours before reaching the 200-mile limit to report on their course, destination and seaworthiness. While Transport Canada makes the ultimate decision on entry, it shares the information with the Department of National Defense, Environment Canada and the coast guard. In this case, the crew of the Eastern Power was able to pump cargo into a safer tank and repaired the rupture. It was then given permission to dock at Come By Chance, but it instead headed for the Caribbean. Newfoundland is still recovering from the collapse of the cod fishery and is trying to build an eco-tourism industry given that its Atlantic offshore is a marine ecological treasure. Environmentalists view some of the present marine laws, or lack of laws, as a gateway to a disaster which could wipe out some water fowl species and further reduce fish stocks. 1 fig

  1. Using new technology to keep oil shipping risks in check

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niini, M.

    2001-01-01

    The opening of a new crude of terminal at Primorsk on the Karelian Isthmus north of St. Petersburg at the beginning of 2002 win bring a new set of major environmental risks to the waters of the Gulf of Finland Kvaerner Masa-Yards has developed new technology ideally suited to ships using the new terminal. The company's double-hulled, 'double-acting tanker' concept and 'oblique icebreaker' represent a new generation of cost-effective solutions. The highly regulated nature of the domestic oil market in Russia makes exports an attractive option for local producers, as does the current high level of world crude prices. Oil production in Russia in 2000 increased by 6% compared to 1999, to 323 million tonnes, and exports rose by over 15%, to 143 million tonnes. Getting crude to the customer is becoming increasingly difficult, however. The capacity of the Bosporous to handle shipments from the Caspian has probably reached its current ceiling, of some 50 million t/a. Further north, a number of political and economic tensions surround Russia's pipelines through Latvia and Lithuania; and some 20 million t/a are already being exported by rail through Tallinn. Part of Russia's solution to this ongoing problem has been to launch construction of a new, green field terminal at Primorsk on the Karelian Isthmus between St. Petersburg and the Finnish-Russian border. The first stage of the terminal, capable of handling 12 million t/a, is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2002; the terminal's second stage, planned for completion later, will have a capacity of 40 million t/a. If the project comes to full fruition, the result will be one supertanker a day sailing down the Gulf of Finland past Helsinki. The Primorsk terminal brings with it a new set of risks. Central to these is the fact that the route to the terminal passes through shallow water and winds be- tween a number of islands in the nearby archipelago. Another major risk is associated with the difficult ice

  2. Students Excited by Stellar Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-01

    follow-up observations, and Thompson joined online. "Observing with the students is very exciting. It gives the students a chance to learn about radio telescopes and pulsar observing in a very hands-on way, and it is extra fun when we find a pulsar," said Rosen. Snider, on the other hand, said, "I got very, very nervous. I expected when I went there that I would just be watching other people do things, and then I actually go to sit down at the controls. I definitely didn't want to mess something up." Everything went well, and the observations confirmed that the students had found an exotic pulsar. "I learned more in the two hours in the control room than I would have in school the whole day," Mabry said. Pulsars are spinning neutron stars that sling lighthouse beams of radio waves or light around as they spin. A neutron star is what is left after a massive star explodes at the end of its normal life. With no nuclear fuel left to produce energy to offset the stellar remnant's weight, its material is compressed to extreme densities. The pressure squeezes together most of its protons and electrons to form neutrons; hence, the name neutron star. One tablespoon of material from a pulsar would weigh 10 million tons -- as much as a supertanker. The object that the students discovered is in a special class of pulsar that spins very fast - in this case, about 30 times per second, comparable to the speed of a kitchen blender. "The big question we need to answer first is whether this is a young pulsar or a recycled pulsar," said Maura McLaughlin, an astronomer at WVU. "A pulsar spinning that fast is very interesting as it could be newly born or it could be a very old, recycled pulsar." A recycled pulsar is one that was once in a binary system. Material from the companion star is deposited onto the pulsar, causing it to speed up, or be recycled. Mystery remains, however, about whether this pulsar has ever had a companion star. If it did, "it may be that this pulsar had a massive