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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Brit plan to ship waste nuclear fuel acroos the Channel comes under heavy fire


Using the dread words "potential terrorist target" as a attempted show-stopper, various groups are most unhappy with a plan to ship some mixed oxide fuel from England to France on a single-hulled RO-RO, as reported here:
Kimo says that "in the next couple of days" the Atlantic Osprey, owned by the British Nuclear Group, will transport 1.25 tonnes of mixed oxide fuel (MOX) fuel containing about 90 kg of plutonium to Swiss utility Nordostschweizerische Kraftwerke (NOK).

"The route will pass close to one of the most densely populated areas in the world and will cross some of the busiest shipping lanes, therefore increasing the potential for collision and making it easier for a potential terrorist attack," says KIMO.

"Traditionally MOX has been transported to and from Japan using purpose built vessels that are of the best available technology currently in service," says KIMO. "However shipments of MOX to Switzerland, of which this is the second, are using the Atlantic Osprey, an ex-roll on roll off ferry. The Atlantic Osprey has a single hull, single engine and will travel unescorted throughout its journey unlike the shipments to Japan which travel in purpose built vessels with twin engines, double hulls and naval armament, with two vessels travelling together to provide support in case of an attack."

KIMO charges that "the lack of emergency planning in the event of a marine accident involving nuclear material is also a serious issue ..."
More here and here:
KIMO International President Councillor Angus Nicolson said, "The arrangements surrounding these proposed shipments are flawed and second rate."

"It is absolutely irresponsible in this day and age," he said, "where we are requiring super tankers carrying oil to have double hulls to protect our marine environment that these dangerous cargoes are being transported in an ex-roll-on roll-off ferry with a single engine and single hull through some of the most populated areas of Europe with no escort."
Continuing mentioning of the lack of an escort by opponents kind points out a opportunity for those prospective terrorists, doesn't it?

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