Past EED rants


Live leaderboard

Poker leaderboard

Voice of EED

Saturday 21 September 2002


You may have been following the recent news concerning the return to the UK of two ships carrying plutonium mixed oxide fuel (known as MOX).

To cut a long story short, British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) sold the stuff to the Japanese atomic energy crowd a few years back; for use in powering their nuke plants - 1 pellet of MOX can generate more energy than a tonne of coal.

The Japs however refused to accept it on the grounds that documentation provided by BNFL concerning the width of the individual MOX pellets had been false; 5 BNFL staff had basically cut corners and lied on the forms.

Fair enough, the Japs didn't want it - it was the wrong spec, so three years later it finally starts its 18,000 mile trek back to the UK.

I should point out that the MOX consignment is, whilst radioactive in nature, not radioactive in a 'argh! look! my fingers glow green!' sense; it hasn't been used as part of the nuclear energy process as the Japs didn't use it.

Three days ago, the two ships rounded the South Coast and headed up through the Irish Sea to their final destination; one of the UK's most secure nuclear fuel handling plants at Barrow-in-Furness.

The Green Lobby didn't miss a trick; conducting a 'peaceful protest afloat' to demonstrate their anger at the fact this voyage had taken place.

Fair enough I guess, but their reasoning (which the BBC has duly emblazoned across pretty much all coverage they've given this) is utterly pathetic.

They jumped on the post '911' terrorist bandwagon; claiming that the ships contained enough MOX to allow a terrorist organisation to create 50 nuclear bombs. They claim it was irresponsible and unwarranted to allow the ships to enter UK territorial waters; and that the whole thing was a 'Degrading Spectacle'.


Clearly, nobody in Greenpeace has bothered to study the types of ships being used to transport the stuff. These are not, by a long shot, 'typical ships' - they are anything but. Specially constructed, well armed, fully redundant vessels capable of withstanding the most serious weather imaginable and of course, under the command of highly vetted and serious individuals.

The vessels were escorted through the Irish Sea by the Royal Navy, Maritime Police and surveillance was 24/7 - the destination? a specially built high security dock controlled by armed police and the British Atomic Energy Authority.

The irony here is that the MOX was unloaded onto a...train. A *train*; possibly (well statistically speaking) just under cars/lorries when it comes to serious fuckups transport wise. Did they complain about that bit of the equation? course not.

They might have a serious point, and sure nobody in their right mind would be happy with huge quantities of potentially devastating nuclear material being shopped around in a slapdash fashion; but BNFL have been doing this for 30 years, without incident.

So they were right; it was a degrading spectacle; degrading to all those 'greens' who actually bother to find out the facts before jumping on board anything with an engine and proving themselves the idiots afloat.

1 comment:

  1. " BNFL staff had basically cut corners and lied on the forms" how do you know its not the only time they have done it! In fairness they dont have a great record with regard to telling the truth, the amount of times they have been seen to cover things up at Selafield (or whatever its called this week) is a bit worrying