DAVID Cameron is being urged to come clean on plans to transport dangerous nuclear materials that could be used for nuclear weapons from Scotland to the United States. Dr Paul Monaghan, MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross which includes the Dounreay site, said the Prime Minister had to come clean. He told The National: “Just last week we learned he had authorised the largest ever shipment of highly enriched uranium from Dounreay to the United States, and we know this is going to the Savannah River site in the United States, which was built to refine nuclear materials for deployment in nuclear weapons. “Of particular concern is the elevate d level of importance attached to this shipment by the United States government. Indeed, the Certificate of Compliance clearly states that the shipment is in the interest of US national security. “This is a deeply worrying development and we have to ask ourselves why the United States government recognises these special fuel assemblies as a national security issue, who actually owns this material, why it is that the UK Government appears to have been stalling this particular shipment of what is very specialised structures of uranium, and of course why, perhaps more generally, highly dangerous nuclear material that is considered to be in the interest of US national security is being held at a civil nuclear site in Scotland.” Monaghan said the US government would not extend such certificates without careful consideration and planning.
The National 6th April 2016 read more »
Anger flares on both sides of the Atlantic at Dounreay agreement over enriched uranium from Georgia. MORE than 5kg of enriched uranium and spent nuclear fuel from a now defunct reactor in a former Soviet republic is among materials stored at the Dounreay facility in Caithness that could be destined for export to the US, under an deal announced days ago by David Cameron. He told a nuclear security summit in Washington that 700kg (1540lbs) of highly enriched uranium (HEU) would be transported to the US from the Caithness facility. In return America would send a different type of used uranium back to Europe where it would be converted into isotopes to help diagnose cancer. The nuclear fuel originated at Tbilisi in Georgia and was transported to Scotland in 1998. According to an environmental assessment from the US Department of Energy, the intention was that none of it wou ld be returned to the USA. The United Kingdom assumed responsibility for the material once it landed here. A pressure group has now spoken out against the transportation and said the “prime terrorist material” should remain in the UK. Cumbrians Opposed to a Nuclear Environment (Core) claimed the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) had performed a U-turn over its transportation. Core said a plan previously agreed with stakeholders to manage the “exotic” fuel at Sellafield, in Cumbria, was ditched without consultation, in a deal “rushed through with government” to meet the Washington summit deadline. Martin Forwood, Core’s campaign co-ordinator, said yeste rday: “Never mind the win-win deal for the UK and US as it was described by government, this is no more than a wink-wink, nudge-nudge agreement hatched by two governments who clearly have little regard for the security of nuclear weapons-usable materials. “How can the threat of nuclear terrorism possibly be curbed – an action demanded by the Washington summit – when UK and US leaders, with the connivance of the NDA, are prepared to deliberately expose this weapons-useable HEU to the obvious and very real dangers of transatlantic shipment and terrorist threat. Campaigners in the United States have reacted with fury at the prospect of these exotics being shipped to a private-sector facility based in Erwin in Tennessee. The Savannah River site in South Carolina was built in the 1950s to refine nuclear materials for use in nuclear weapons, and Tom Clements, director of Savannah River Site Watch, has argued that managing the materials is the sole responsibility of the UK. He said the deal amounted to nothing more than waste dumping on the US, and that in non-proliferation terms the HEU should be left in the UK. Core said the NDA first hinted that HEU from Dounreay could be transferred to a third party in January, but that there was no suggestion of US involvement.
The National 7th April 2016 read more »