Nuclear trains through Romford suspended for Olympics

Trains carrying radioactive material from nuclear plants on a line through Havering and the Olympic Park, are to be suspended throughout the London 2012 Games, it was revealed this week.

The trains transport spent nuclear fuel rods in 30cm thick reinforced steel lead-lined flasks from the Sizewell A reactor in Suffolk along the Shenfield to Liverpool Street line en-route to Sellafield in Cumbria to be reprocessed.

For more than 30 years anti-nuclear protesters have campaigned to halt the transportation of the hazardous material by rail through the centre of London, claiming it was a potential disaster risk and a terrorist target, with the Olympics heightening that threat.

Rail operator Direct Rail Services confirmed the suspension following discussions with the Olympic Delivery Authority and Magnox Ltd, which manages the nuclear plants.

It stressed the decision had nothing to do with terrorist fears, explaining it was designed to free up space for more passenger trains because of the increased demand during the nine-week period of the Olympics and Paralympics.

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A spokesman said: “As responsible operators, we always work closely with our regulators and suppliers in all our areas of operation. and making these temporary changes to our spent nuclear fuel movements will ensure that we do not impede on passenger train operators’ ability to deliver an efficient service.”

The Nuclear Trains Action Group (NTAG) will contiune to demonstrate on Saturday.

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Chairman Mary Flanagan, of Dalston, said: “I like to think of this as a victory – we’ve been fighting hard for this. It’s a huge relief.”

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