HANT’S aims are to campaign for:
- Greater transparency, information and consultation by public and private organisations with responsibility for nuclear waste transport
- The nuclear industry to justify the need to transport the waste and to halt all transports by rail, sea and air.
- Retaining all nuclear waste produced at Dounreay Civil Nuclear Establishment and MOD (Ministry of Defence) HMS Vulcan sites
- Lobby MEP’s,MP’s, MSP’s , Councillors and Community Councillors on the issue
- Lobby for Highland, Moray, and Argyll & Bute Councils to become members of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities
- Campaign to ensure that Emergency Planning procedures related to nuclear transports and nuclear emergencies are accessible to local communities
- Engagement with Greenpeace, Nuclear Free Local Authorities, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Cumbria Against Radioactive Environment, Nuclear Trains Action Group, KIM (European Local Authorities International Environmental Organisation) and political parties and other groups opposed to nuclear transport
- Publicising the issue through the mainstream and social media
This national rail map shows the route taken by the nuclear trains carrying nuclear waste from Georgemas Junction to Barrow-in-Furness.
The flasks are loaded at Dounreay and taken by road to Georgemas Junction and at journey’s end they are offloaded at Barrow-in-Furness and taken by road to Sellafield
The total distance is 400 + miles and the transport can take up to 20 hours passing remote rural areas and heavily populated areas, and including close proximity to schools, residential areas and other areas where people are present. This increases the risks of potentially disastrous effects in the event of an accident on humans and the environment.
This presents dangers of radiation emanating from the flasks (although this is disputed by the nuclear industry) despite some nuclear scientists claiming this to be potentially harmful – particularly when trains are stationary for long periods near populated areas
Hence HANT’s argument that all waste should be retained on the sites where it is produced.
This route along the north coast of Scotland and through the Minches is known as one of the most treacherous sea areas around the coast of Britain
The seas on this route have experienced many shipwrecks, sinkings, collisions and near misses for centuries
One recent tragedy was the sinking of the MV Cemfjord sank in the Pentland Firth on 2 January 2015 with the loss of 8 seamen and when no emergency signal was picked up
It was judged too dangerous (due to depth and currents) to retrieve bodies from the vessel which illustrates that the nuclear industry position on the retrieval of flasks from the sea bottom is possible – is incorrect or at least a flawed position
And the breakdown of the MV Parida is another example – the ship was carrying nuclear waste emanating from Dounreay being shipped from Scrabster to Antwerp and broke down in the Moray Firth on 8 October 2014.and 52 workers were evacuated from a rig in the Beatrice Field as the MV Parida was drifting on a collision course towards the rig. A major disaster was narrowly averted when a chartered tug managed to get a tow on to the vessel in a Force 8 gale – in HANT’s opinion the ship should never have sailed
Making these shipments is considered by many organisations as irresponsible, dangerous and unnecessary and HANT is of the view that all waste should be retained on the sites where it is produced