Every week trains carrying radioactive nuclear waste in flasks from Hinkley Point nuclear power station are loaded in the middle of Bridgwater, right next door to Eastover Primary School.
On their route to Sellafield, they pass through Bristol via Yatton, Parsons St., Bedminster, Temple Meads, Lawrence Hill, Stapleton Rd., Filton Abbeywood and Bristol Parkway.
The trains normally travel in the middle of a week day, close to schools, play areas, community centres, residential housing and people waiting on station platforms.
The Health and Safety Executive reported 38 nuclear transport accidents in 2011, 11 involving irradiated nuclear fuel flasks.
Bristol City Council has confirmed that: “As a Local Authority we are not informed of the time or routes of nuclear waste through the City” Simon Creed LLB, MA, Civil Protection Manager.
Questions to be asked:
1. What has been done to secure emergency preparedness in Bristol in the event of a serious incident? Have the relevant emergency services (fire, police and ambulance) received training under the RADSAFE national plan in relation to incidents involving the transport of radioactive materials?
2. What are the public information arrangements in the case of an accident involving the transport of nuclear fuel?
3. On the safety issue of danger from moving trains there does not appear to be any trackside security through Bristol. Is anything done to keep children, young people or pregnant women away from trains carrying nuclear waste?
4. Has there ever been a Bristol based accident risk assessment of spent nuclear fuel transport?
5. Has anything been done to examine the possibility of using alternative rail freight routes to transport spent nuclear fuel bypassing Bristol?
Photographs of train with flasks containing nuclear waste passing through Temple Meads Station, Bristol
Photographer: Dave Yates
Photos below taken by Ros Beauhill at Stapleton Road Station, 3rd April 2013
Note little girls on platform in close proximity to nuclear flasks.