The news that a train had derailed near Barrow Station on tuesday at 2pm is unusual enough, but to hear that the derailed train was carrying nuclear flasks is shocking. According to the nuclear industry the flasks were empty and on their way to Sellafield. Flasks on their way to Sellafield are most often full of spent fuel being sent to Sellafield to be reprocessed making the wastes even more dangerous. These flasks had gone on a long journey having sailed from Japan to Barrow and back again with Highly Active Waste who knows how many times. Presumably the “empty” flasks arrived from Japan on the Pacific Heron currently in port in Barrow. Sellafield Ltd tells us confidently that: “Sellafield Ltd, International Nuclear Services (INS) and its subsidiary Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited are making preparations to transport highly active waste (HAW) from Sellafield to Japan in 2013.
This will be the 15th such shipment from Europe and the third from the UK. The transport from Sellafield is part of a programme that will see the delivery of UK government policy to repatriate overseas waste; the fulfilment of contractual obligations; and the reduction of hazards at Sellafield site.
The HAW will be transported in a way that is tried and tested and safe and secure. The waste itself is in a solid glass form inside stainless steel canisters, up to 28 of which sit within a very robust transport flask. This method of transporting waste complies with all international and national guidelines and regulations.”
What they don’t tell us is that the arrival of the last shipment back to Japan was met with huge protests. An eye witness said it was like a scene from “Apocalypse Now” with red sky, helicopters and huge demonstrations of people desperate not to have any more nuclear crap arriving in their country.
The North West Evening Mail reported in March of this year that: “The waste derives from used nuclear fuel belonging to Japanese customers that was reprocessed at Sellafield. It was then vitrified into glass blocks ready for its return.
Will Watson, Sellafield’s vitrified residue returns programme manager, said: “This is the third successful voyage to Japan, and we look forward to working with our overseas customers to plan future shipments.”
Managers at Sellafield will be hoping that the tests do not reveal any problems.
When the last consignment arrived, in August 2011, “higher than expected” contamination was discovered on the surface of three containers.“
How long is this madness going to continue?
How much money are the Government spending on Nuclear PR to persuade us that we want more of the same? £Millions and then some!
Spent Fuel should not be arriving at Sellafield in the first place. It should be looked after and repackaged at the nuclear installations where it has arisen, and reprocessing of spent fuel at Sellafield should stop immediately. The Highly Active Waste (a result of reprocessing spent fuel to make MOX which nobody wants) is presumably going to be stuffed into the containers and then trundled back along the tracks it has already derailed from, to be shipped from Barrow across the Pacific, through the Panama Canal and to Japan where it will be met with huge protest.
Nuclear Train Derailment in Barrow
Protests as Nuclear Fuel Ship Docks in Japan
Japanese Highly Active Waste Return
Nuclear Waste Cargo – March 13
Nuclear Waste Nightmare – Japan Prepares for its first import of Radioactive waste since Fukushima
Japan Protest MOX NUclear Ships
“Stop Press: It was reported on May 19th that the Pacific Heron had developed problems in one of its engines during the voyage but was able to continue using another independent engine”