Greens get London to join Nuclear Free Association

Cllr. Darren Johnson AM, Leader of the Greens in the London Assembly, has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers of spent nuclear fuel regularly travelling through London on routes through heavily populated areas.

Darren Johnson said, “I am delighted that the GLA is joining the Nuclear Free Local Authorities. The Inquiry I chaired on behalf of the London Assembly raised many serious concerns about the trains that pass through London carrying nuclear waste. Joining other anti-nuclear local authorities is a logical step forward.”

For many years, trains carrying highly radioactive nuclear waste have passed through London, close to homes and schools, on their way to Sellafield in Cumbria. There have long been fears about the health impacts as well as real worries about the potential for an accident.

The Green Party Group in the London Assembly was successful in getting an inquiry set up, chaired by Darren Johnson. A number of major concerns came to light:

1. no proper emergency training – although detailed emergency procedures exist, a training exercise for the emergency services has never taken place in London to test whether these are adequate;

2. inadequate safety tests – although nuclear waste flasks have been tested to withstand fires of up to 800 degrees centigrade Railtrack confirmed that fires have been known to reach 1,500 degrees, well in advance of the current testing limit;

3. terrorist threat – the nuclear industry maintained that nuclear flasks were not a promising target for terrorists but following the terrible events of September 11, however, the risks cannot be dismissed. Research in the United States revealed that the flasks could be punctured by terrorists using high-energy explosive devices, leading to the release of radioactivity.

Darren Johnson has repeatedly called on the UK government to stop transporting nuclear waste through London in this climate of increased threat from terrorist attack and sabotage.



The mission statement of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities states,
"The Committee is convinced that nuclear weapons and energy systems present extraordinary and unacceptable risks to the planet and its people; it works for a nuclear free future in practical ways within local government."


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