In March 2002 at a national gathering, 8 specific demands were agreed on:
- Spent nuclear fuel shipments should be routed, as far as possible, to
avoid centres of population, viaducts over 9 metres high, tunnels and
- Magnox power stations should all be shut immediately.
- All remaining nuclear power stations should be shut down as soon as
alternative sources of power can be developed.
- No further nuclear power stations should be built.
- Any existing governmental financial support to the nuclear industry,
beyond that required to shut it down safely, should cease. Instead such
support should be given to developing renewable sources of energy.
- Dry storage on site of AGR (Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor) spent fuel
should be investigated thoroughly.
- Plans for emergencies involving the shipments should be made publicly
available and emergency planning departments should be told in advance of
times of nuclear trains passing through their area. Such plans should be
subjected to actuality tests and the results published.
- Emergency Services personnel should be adequately trained to deal with
nuclear accidents involving the trains.
The reasons for these 8 demands are:
- Centres of population should be avoided to minimise the number of people affected
by radiation released. Some viaducts are higher than the 9 metre drop tests on
flasks. Tunnels allow fires to burn at higher temperatures and for
longer than the flasks are designed for. Level crossings are a
common source of accidents.
- Magnox power stations are the oldest and least efficient in the UK. They present
the greatest hazards for the least electricity output.
- The remaining nuclear power stations (PWR pressurised water reactors and AGR)
should be shut down as they are a continuing source of radioactive pollution and
waste, damage to health, and risks of accidents and terrorism.
- Building new nuclear power stations would increase pollution and risk, at
great public expense; and there are more economic and sustainable ways of
- Government financial support - ie. our money - is wasted on a dangerous and
unnecessary nuclear industry (its only useful role is in cleaning up the mess it
created). Renewable sources of energy, and conservation measures,
are less problematic and create more jobs.
- Dry storage on site involves minimal transport of highly dangerous materials.
Reprocessing creates much greater volumes of waste and additional toxic chemical
pollution, with no reduction in radioactivity.
- The public, local emergency planning officers and services would be better
prepared for dealing with nuclear emergencies if they knew the times of nuclear
trains passing through their area.
The excuse that these are kept secret for security reasons is rubbish, as their
time slots are fixed well in advance and already in the public domain.
Emergency plans need to be realistically tested, and the results published so
that the public can judge how effective these plans are.
- Nuclear accidents require specialist treatment, so emergency services personnel need
specific technical training to deal with such accidents as quickly and effectively