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Nuclear waste trains threaten 2012 Olympics say activists
THE 2012 OLYMPICS could be put at risk by trains carrying nuclear waste through London, according to warnings from local campaigners. They peacefully marched around the Olympic Park last weekend to express their concern.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) continues to criticise the moving of nuclear waste around Britain and has said that additional worries are raised by the possibility of a terrorist attack during the Olympics.
Trains from the Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk carry waste along the North London line, which passes through the Olympic Park. South London is affected by waste transported from the Dungeness station in Kent. But London is not the only place involved, as Britain’s nuclear power stations all send waste to Sellafield in Cumbria for storage. Waste from the Wylfa station in Anglesey arrives in Sellafield after travelling across north Wales, while Scottish power stations send their waste via Carlisle. Trains from the Hinckley Point and Oldbury power stations in south-west England travel via Bristol, the
Midlands and Crewe.
Before their march, the demonstrators held a rally addressed by CND chair Kate Hudson, Green MEP Jean Lambert and Labour MP Diane Abbott.
Kate Hudson told the Friend, ‘It was heartening to see Quakers amongst the diverse range of people on the demonstration’. She added, ‘These trains pass through many communities on their way to Sellafield and I’d encourage Friends to highlight the issue wherever they can in their own area’.
‘Moving the necessary ingredients for a dirty bomb through such a high-profile location puts Londoners in an even more dangerous situation,’ she said. The issue hit the headlines in 2006 when Daily Mirror journalist Tom Parry planted a fake bomb on a nuclear waste train to highlight the lack of effective security.
But London mayor Boris Johnson said he has ‘no concerns’ about the issue and trusts the agencies responsible to transport the nuclear waste in a ‘safe manner that poses no risk to Londoners or visitors during the Games’.
Peace tax OVER SIXTY PEOPLE gathered in Norway earlier this month to explore conscientious objection to war-related taxes. At least eight Yearly Meetings were represented at a Meeting for Worship.
The conference was opened by the Quaker ecophilosopher Per Ingvar Haukeland speaking on ‘New Earth, New Peace: Listening to the voice of conscience’.
Army recruitment QUAKERS have called for the upcoming Armed Forces Bill to raise the minimum age of army recruits from sixteen to eighteen. Over a quarter of recruits in the last year were under eighteen and were required to sign on for six years.
The government has said that the Bill will increase support for soldiers and veterans.
Same-sex unions EQUALITIES MINISTER Lynne Featherstone has said that she will push ahead with implementing a decision to allow religious elements in same-sex civil partnerships.
Parliament made this provision in the Equality Act in April, but there were fears that the new coalition government would be slow to put the plans in the new Act into practice.
: Andy AndyRob
Photo the Friend, 16 July 2010