The Oceanic Pintail, the only ship owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) docked in Barrow’s Ramsden Dock nuclear terminal early this morning and unloaded a cargo of ‘exotic’ nuclear materials. These comprise unirradiated plutonium/ highly enriched uranium fuels which were loaded on board at the Caithness Port of Scrabster. From Barrow the consignment was transported by rail to Sellafield, with the rail route and local railway stations under heavy police surveillance to prevent hostile actions against the ‘weapons useable’ materials which are prime targets for terrorists. The use of the 29 year old Oceanic Pintail – now almost 5 years past her sell-by date (company practice has been to retire ships at or before 25 years of service) – and the sea route from Scotland via the often treacherous waters of the Minches from Cape Wrath southwards, has been much criticised as unnecessarily exposing such dangerous cargos to major risks. Having undertaken a familiarisation voyage to the Port of Scrabster in October 2014, the ship left Barrow for Dounreay on 7th March 2016 – concealing her route/destination by de-activating her Automatic Identification System (AIS) so that her progress could not be monitored on shipping websites. Generally used in the past only when a ship is actually carrying a nuclear cargo, turning off the AIS system even when the ship is unladen is becoming a common – but clearly not fool-proof – ploy by Barrow’s nuclear fleet to keep its noxious trading out of plain sight.
CORE 14th March 2016 read more »
A LARGE number of police vehicles and police activity has been spotted in and around South and West Cumbria as part of a mystery ‘transport operation’. A number of vehicles have been seen travelling to West Cumbria from the Barrow area and police officers have been stationed at railway stations across South Cumbria. The incident is suspected to be linked to the movement of material on the railway line, possibly in connection with the Sellafield nuclear site. Sellafield has not yet confirmed any details.
NW Evening Mail 14th March 2016 read more »
Nuclear energy chiefs have stated that radioactive waste being transported through Renfrewshire is safe. EDF Energy bosses have responded to a protest that was staged at Paisley’s Gilmour Street Station on Wednesday over the haulage of toxic waste through town. The nuclear material is transferred between Hunterston B power station, in Ayrshire, and the Sellafield nuclear decommissioning site in Cumbria. CND Scotland campaigners claimed the practice is dangerous and local families could be put at risk if there was a crash.
Daily Record 14th March 2016 read more »