Trains Spotters Encouraged to “Celebrate 20 years” of Nuclear Transport

Nuclear Trains
Nuclear Trains
“Celebrate 20 years”

Yesterday was surreal.  Thousands of train enthusiasts descended on the back road train depot of Kingmoor in Carlisle encouraged by Direct Rail Services  to “celebrate 20 years” in a Charity Open Day.  The £5 entrance fee going to ‘charity’ i.e. cash strapped local hospitals and good causes that in ‘austerity’ free days would be funded by government.

Now the Nuclear industry can show off its largesse while the public pay for the privilege of shunting nuclear wastes around our towns and villages.

The demographic attending the Open Day was largely eager older men with their notebooks and cameras at the ready to photograph the engines.  The train enthusiasts were interspersed with families with excited young children running down to meet the DRS teddy bear and the nuclear freight engines.

Direct Rail Services is wholly owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and was set up specifically to haul radioactive wastes to Sellafield for reprocessing.  Reprocessing increases the volume of wastes x 180, much of it spewing out to the Irish Sea every day.  DRS has teamed up with Stobarts and Tesco and now hauls other freight as well as nuclear waste, but make no mistake nuclear waste is the sole reason why this state owned railway is in operation.   Campaigners welcome state owned railways carrying both freight and passengers but it is way past time to stop the transport of highly radioactive nuclear materials through our cities towns and villages.

Incredibly this was the very first time that the DRS depot at Carlisle has been targeted by campaigners…way beyond time!    The DRS security guy kindly told campaigners that they could use the  facilities, but only one at a time and only escorted by security …..and then bizarrely the portaloos were checked after us!  If only they kept such a close eye on the nuclear waste which once it arrives at Sellafield is dumped into the air, sea, landfill, even pots and pans.  Many people we spoke to during the day were unaware that DRS haul nuclear waste.

We were also told that we couldn’t take a gieger counter anywhere inside the depot as “it isn’t that kind of day”  ……

Many thanks to Campaigners who joined us from members of the public and representatives from: Radiation Free Lakeland, Close Capenhurst Campaign, Cumbria and Lancashire Area CND and Kendal Green Party.

We ran out of leaflets so here it is for those who didn’t get one on the day….

Welcome to DRS Open Day! 2015
Welcome to DRS Open Day! 2015

4 thoughts on “Trains Spotters Encouraged to “Celebrate 20 years” of Nuclear Transport

  1. Rik -

    Hiya. You say each flask contains 2 fuel rods. Surely they contain 2 fuel rod bundles, which would be 88 fuel rods per bundle, or something similar? I’ll look into it..

  2. Martyn Lowe

    Hej Rik.

    Thanks for this note.

    Now your really raising a few questions from a technical perspective.

    I’ve only been told about these being fuel rods, but this might of been a lazy way of describing bundles of fuel rods.

    So here’s a little info on what we already know.

    This is an illustration of what they look like:-


    There is a description of the flask to be found here:-

    The really difficulty is just where would we find a good technical drawing of how these flasks are constructed, and the kind of metal fatigue they might be subject to over the years.

    If we could get hold of that kind of info then there would be a lot more we could throw in to any arguments we are making on the issue.


  3. David Polden

    Dear Martyn

    The illustration of the flask in the link you give below seems to me to show ranks of fuel rods (named “fuel elements) stored vertically side by side in the “fuel element skip” – we can just see what seems to me to be the ends at the top (looks to me about 100 in the part shown and it would seem that ¼ of the top of the skip or less is shown – so at least 400 altogether?)


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