N-plant documents linked to 'bomber'
DRAWINGS and slides of the Sizewell B nuclear reactor in Suffolk were found in a car linked to one of the alleged London bombers, it has emerged.A nuclear expert, speaking to the EADT last night, said he was given the information after being interviewed by anti-terrorist officers.
By David Green
DRAWINGS and slides of the Sizewell B nuclear reactor in Suffolk were found in a car linked to one of the alleged London bombers, it has emerged.
A nuclear expert, speaking to the EADT last night, said he was given the information after being interviewed by anti-terrorist officers.
Members of the Metropolitan Police C9 anti-terrorist squad are believed to have arrested two women with suspected links to one of the alleged bombers after discovery of the documents and other materials.
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The included copied documents which carried the name of the nuclear expert who regularly lectures at some of Britain's top universities.
A dossier found in the car also included maps and details of the types of radioactive material found at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing works in Cumbria - for some time considered a high risk terrorist target.
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Other papers identified vulnerable parts of nuclear power stations, how the authorities were preparing for terrorist attacks and the strategy adopted in the UK.
The nuclear expert who was the source of most of the documents found spoke to the EADT last night on the condition that his identity was not revealed - because of fear of reprisals.
He said almost all the documents he used in his lectures were publicly available and included copies of engineering drawings and the layout of the Sizewell B power station published during the long running public inquiry into the project.
“In 2002, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, I did a series of talks at universities on the vulnerability of Britain's nuclear installations to terrorists and what the impact might be on the environment.
“In the process of these lecturers I supplied hand-outs to students but there was nothing that was not freely available on the Internet or elsewhere.
“One of the main strands of what I had to say was how easy it was to get information about the nuclear plants.
“It is better these issues are in the open so they can be taken into account by those involved in trying to stop a further terrorist outrage,” he said.
He considered the Sizewell A and B plants -both designed before the latest era of international terror - were vulnerable to attack, and not just the reactors themselves.
“The fuel pond at Sizewell A, where they store the highly radioactive spent fuel rods, is like a tin shed and the storage area at Sizewell B is in a very lightweight building.
“Nuclear plants and radioactive facilities were never designed to thwart terrorist attacks. Present-day defences could prove to be entirely flawed if an attack is intelligently planned and seeks out the vulnerability of the plant,” he said.
The expert, who lives in the London area, said his lectures had been aimed at raising awareness of the dangers and could in no way be construed as helping terrorists.
The information was freely available from other sources and it would be naive to believe that these would not be used by terrorists intent on attacking the plants.
He said he always gave his email address to students at the end of lectures so they could contact him with any query and he did remember getting a request from a young woman for his paper on nuclear terrorism.
Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign, said he was not surprised to hear that terrorists may have been planning to attack the local nuclear site.
“The two power stations are sitting targets and the only solution is to close them down and remove the highly radioactive material,” he said.
A Sizewell A spokesman said: “We do not comment on security matters.”
There was no-one available to comment on behalf of Sizewell B.
A Metropolitan Police Press spokeswoman said she had “no knowledge” of any incident in which nuclear documents had been found.
A spokeswoman for the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, which mounts armed patrols around the Sizewell site, said: “We cannot verify this incident.” However, she added that security was always under review.