Highlands Against Nuclear Transport is extremely concerned about the grounding of the semi-submersible rig Transocean Winner at Dalmore in the Western Isles whilst under tow from Norway to Malta for eventual decommissioning in Turkey HANT is concerned for several reasons : i) The passage should never have been undertaken when storm force winds had been forecast for several days ii) The company providing the towing tug appears to have broken international maritime law by not having an ocean-going master and crew on the rig whilst under tow which could have taken several actions such as lowering one of the vessel’s 8 anchors or reconnect the tow iii) A single tow of this kind should not have been attempted without a backup vessel in attendance in case of breakdowns or the tow line parting iv) That 280 metric tonnes of diesel oil were bring carried on the rig and that this is now leaking and will cause environmental damage and risks to tourism, fishing and aquaculture which form an important part of the Western Isles economy v) That the recommendations of the Donaldson report after the grounding of the Braer on Shetland in 1993 should now be fully implemented with at least 2 Emergency Towing Vessels based around Scotland’s coast This maritime disaster once again highlights the need for an Emergency Towing Vessel based in Stornoway which HANT has campaigned for since 2013 with support from many politicians, KIMO (local authorities international environmental organisation), NFLA (Nuclear Free Local Authorities) and Friends of the Earth Scotland. The outcome of an incident similar to this involving a ship carrying nuclear waste from scrabster to barrow would be even more catastrophic. That is why HANT has called for all shipments of nuclear waste on this route through the Minches to be halted as it is unnecessary and all nuclear waste can and should be stored at Dounreay. HANT calls on the British Government to : i) Implement every recommendation made by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch which will follow this disaster; ii) Immediately inform the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority that all shipments of nuclear waste from Scrabster to Barrow must now be halted.
HANT 11th Aug 2016 read more »