Share |
The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, October 05, 2007

Single Hulled ex Ferry Sets Sail for Sellafield with an Ultra Hazardous Radioactive Cargo

Atlantic Osprey - a nuclear ferryThe Atlantic Osprey an ex roll on roll off cargo vessel will depart Nykoping, in Sweden, on the 5th October carrying shipment of 4.8 tonnes of ultra hazardous spent nuclear fuel, containing Plutonium, for Sellafield in the UK to be reprocessed in the B205 Magnox plant. The use of this vessel which is single hulled, single engined, unescorted and already has had one engine room fire is unacceptable. It puts at risk the marine environment and the millions that live along the shipping route which route transverses some of Europe’s busiest shipping lanes and most dangerous waters

KIMO International has been calling for many years for such shipments to be halted and for the wastes to be dealt with at the site where they were produced. However where this is not possible, for safety reason, transports should be carried out with the Best Available Technology (BAT). The ex ro-ro ferry vessel the Atlantic Osprey, INF2 class, not only doesn’t represent BAT it doesn’t even represent the Second Best Available Technology.

Yet again coastal communities are being treated as third class citizens by their own governments. At last years North Sea Ministerial meeting in Göteborg Ministers refused to agree on the use of best available technology for these shipments and refused to review their marine national contingency plans for nuclear pollution.

At KIMO’s International Conference in Gorey, Co. Wexford, Ireland, on Friday 5th October a presentation will be given by Marine Nuclear Expert Tim Deere Jones on the deficiencies in the vessels and the risks associated with transports of just the type proposed to set sail for Sellafield.

As well as presenting a threat while it is transported this cargo of ultra hazardous spent fuel will also lead to an increase in emissions in to the Irish Sea and beyond during reprocessing at Sellafield. Then MOX fuel will have to be transported back to Sweden, along with some of the radioactive waste generated during reprocessing, doubling the risk of an incident. A KIMO International spokesperson stated,

KIMO remains convinced that the transport of nuclear materials should be halted and that such materials should be stored at the point of production. However should these shipments go ahead governments should be insisting that the highest standards of ship and security arrangements are in place to protect their citizens.

This means that the Best Available Technology (BAT) should be applied to the ships and flasks used in European shipments and should be at least to the same standard to the ships that are used for MOX shipments to Japan. The arrangements surrounding this proposed shipment are flawed and second rate. We are asking governments to take national action to ensure that their national pollution and security plans take into account a nuclear accident near the coast and that these shipments should be escorted by the own naval ships for protection. These are actions which they can commit to themselves with breaking any international regulations.

It is absolutely irresponsible in this day and age 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 little or no security.

KIMO stresses that if an attack by terrorists succeeds in an incident involving a severe long-term fire, breaching shipping casks and/or sinking a nuclear transport vessel, the consequences would be comparable to the most severe accident that authorities insist is too improbable to be considered.”


This is going to go through the Minch or down the deep water route, but either way, the Western Isles are in the front-line.

Sadly, at Göteborg last year, it was the UK who were the strongest opponents of the use of BAT and adopted a laise-faire approach to nuclear transportation.

I was due to be in Wexford today making this announcement and standing down as International President, but family commitments meant that I couldn't attend, but I remain Senior Vice-President for the next two years.


Anonymous said...

looks a better sea ship than the Muirneag does camcal know it may be available.

Anonymous said...

thar she goes, through the Minch-

Angus said...

Thanks anon. Good to see our anti-nuclear MP and MSP up in arms about this threat to the Western Isles....

Nice to see her described as a "vehicles carrier", and without escort vessels - or even the tug - in case the single engine fails.