MoD defends nuclear waste transport

THE Ministry of Defence has defended its decision to transport nuclear material through Essex villages without informing local councils about the timing or their content.

THE Ministry of Defence has defended its decision to transport nuclear material through Essex villages without informing local councils about the timing or their content.

Last week, after enquiries made by Sible Hedingham Parish Council, it was revealed that nuclear material had been moved through the village on more than one occasion, without prior notice to the authority.

But an MoD spokesman this weekend said: “For security reasons, we do not comment on transport routes and procedures.

“But we do use public highways. The frequency and nature of movements and the locations used are not made public for security purposes, but all of our sites and equipment are controlled to ensure full compliance with all the appropriate safety and security requirements.”


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After they insisted on discovering the details about mystery convoys that had been reported making their way through the village on a number of occasions, the parish council received a thick dossier of information from the MoD that revealed the controversial contents of the trucks.

John Skittral, spokesman for the council's Emergency Planning Advisory Group, said: “They must have looked quite frightening and overpowering to people in the village.

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“I was a little bit disappointed that, as a parish council, we were not advised about it. We have a planning group that would be involved in things like the re-housing of people in an emergency, so we were a bit disappointed that they hadn't told us.

“But I am not concerned about it going through the village. What has set my mind at ease is the total security and safety aspect of the MoD's policy; every eventuality has been catered for.

“I think that nuclear waste is probably an undesirable substance to transport anywhere, but with the measures taken, I am not concerned.

“I am more than confident that it is being moved in a most efficient and safe manner.”

The convoys have been travelling through Sible Hedingham, Great Yeldham, and Gosfield during the past 12 months and included fire engines, ambulances and police cars.

The production and movement of nuclear material has long been an issue of debate, and local peace campaigners claimed that the nuclear industry is endangering residents by transporting such material.

A spokesman for Colchester Peace Campaign, said: “No matter how it is transported, there have been accidents, by train or by road.

“The main problem with the nuclear industry is it is inherently dangerous.”

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