Knight Templar wrote:
In the case of Exeter couldn't you bombard it with sufficient radiation until it was "clean"?
If that was the case, then Picard could have done the same thing to the Lantree a century later. But he didn't. He destroyed the ship.
Granted, Starfleet probably had way more ships in the late 24th century than in the late 23rd, so losing an already-old ship probably wasn't a big deal, while the Exeter was most likely a relatively new ship in a smaller Starfleet, so a "clean-up" may have been more prudent.
IIRC the Lantree was simply an old transport (modified Miranda).
Naturally salvaging it would not be a priority. Anymore than during WW2, the U.S. went to great lengths to salvage damaged battleships from Pearl Harbor and far less trouble to salvage damaged Liberty ships (cheap, easy to build bulk cargo ships).