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Join us tomorrow to Leaflet Against Continued Nuclear Waste Trains Arriving in Cumbria - We will be at DRS Kingmoor Depot Open Day - Nr Carlisle

Thomas the Stank Engine hauls nuclear waste at the Direct Rail Services Open Day July 6th at Kingmoor Depot, Carlisle

JOINT PRESS RELEASE (so far ignored by local media - anyone would think they are owned by nuclear interests - hang on they are - and those that are not carry expensive adverts for the industry on regular basis)

Campaigners from Close Capenhurst[1] and Radiation Free Lakeland[2] will be taking “Thomas the Stank Engine” to the Direct Rail Services open day on Saturday July 6th at the DRS Carlisle Kingmoor Depot[3].

DRS are part of Nuclear Transport Solutions wholly owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, a taxpayer funded organisation charged with decommissioning redundant nuclear power stations and managing radioactive waste.

Thomas the Stank Engine is the cartoon creation of Cumbrian campaigner Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland.  Martyn Lowe of Close Capenhurst (campaigning for the closure of the UK’s uranium enrichment plant) said: “Thomas got his name because he hauls train wagons which contain very stinky, very dirty, and very nasty nukiller waste (unshielded nuclear waste can kill a human in a minute). This deadly stuff is traipsed around the country to Sellafield.”

Campaigners say that they are hugely concerned not only that nuclear waste continues to arrive in Cumbria but that it is arriving via DRS on vulnerable train routes that have seen recent derailments such as at Grange over Sands[4] and through Victorian tunnels such as the 1km long acid minewater impacted tunnel under Whitehaven[5].

Although DRS may claim to be providing nuclear transport ‘solutions’ that are making the “world safer and more sustainable”, in these circumstances the continued operation of nuclear waste trains represents an ongoing and dangerous blight on public health.

Campaigners point to the silt in Whitehaven Harbour which has been recently tested by a top laboratory in the US, Eberline Analytical who found dangerous levels of Americium 241, a decay product of Plutonium[6].  “This highly radioactive pollution from so called ‘clean energy’ is clearly a product of decades of nuclear waste transports to Sellafield” say campaigners.

Close Capenhurst and Radiation Free Lakeland have previously been joined by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities[7] and Highlands against Nuclear Transport / Power[8] in sending letters outlining their joint safety concerns to senior directors in DRS, and this led to a high-level meeting between campaigners and nuclear industry managers at the DRS Gresty Bridge depot in April 2023.

A spokesperson for the NFLAs said at the time: “The absolute priority for all concerned about nuclear transport – whether for or against nuclear power – must be to ensure the best possible safety standards are maintained in the industry, for the well-being of the public, for staff operating the trains, and for our natural environment, for so long as the transport of these materials continues, whilst, for our part, we continue to work for the eventual elimination of nuclear power.”

Please join campaigners outside the DRS depot to leaflet the event from 10.30am on Saturday 6 July. The address is Direct Rail Services, Kingmoor Depot, Etterby Road, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 9NZ. The Open Day will be held from 10am to 4pm.


Contact Radiation Free Lakeland/Marianne Birkby 07904 952913

Close Capenhurst/Martyn Lowe 0151 7060575

Nuclear Free Local Authorities/Richard Outram

1. Close Capenhurst

2. Radiation Free Lakeland

4. BBC News 22 March 2024, ‘Hole found on track where train derailed’

5. Network Rail 10 Nov 2023, ‘Whitehaven railway tunnel testing to seek source of mystery orange water’

6. Eberline Analytical, Whitehaven Silt Sample Analysis Report

7. Nuclear Free Local Authorities

8. Highlands Against Nuclear Transport

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