Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert, has demanded an end to the transportation of highly toxic nuclear waste through London’s Olympic site at a public meeting in east London.
Campaigners from the Nuclear Trains’ Action Group (NTAG) gathered at the Stratford Advice Arcade to highlight the dangers posed to Londoners by the regular movement of radio active waste from power stations in Kent and Suffolk to Sellafield. The trains, which are loaded with spent nuclear fuel rods, pass by the Maryland and Stratford stations and continue through the middle of the Olympic site on the North London Line before heading north to Cumbria. At times, the trains are just metres from the new Aquatics Centre.
Research carried out by NTAG shows that a serious accident or terrorist attack which broke open a nuclear flask would result in the release of highly-radioactive material which could kill thousands of people downwind in a built up areas such as East London and require mass evacuation of a large area for a considerable period.
Speaking at the meeting, Jean, who is currently involved in new European legislation on nuclear waste management, said: “With the Olympic games now a mere 12 months away, Londoners must be warned of the dangerous radiation coming from these trains and the impact of a major accident on the population of London. Transport vehicles for nuclear fuel have long been seen as a potential target for terrorists and a successful attack during the Games would be nothing short of a so-called ‘spectacular’. For this reason, the Olympic organisers must put a stop to these trains before the Games begin. The lives of Londoners must be the top priority.
“The UK government would have us believe that nuclear is necessary for a low-carbon future but this just isn’t the case. Renewable energy is affordable, safe and clean and the UK has some of the best resources in Europe. In order to stop the transport of nuclear waste through London for good, we have to turn our backs on fossil fuels and make the permanent switch to real renewable energy. Only this change will make both London and the rest of the world a safer place.”