Our concerns about nuclear proliferation seemed to have been accepted by the Environment Agency in the conclusion that "separated plutonium is generally described as weapons-grade or civil grade. For most practical purposes the grade does not affect the arguments concerning weapons proliferation".
They further state that "it would be a relatively straightforward matter to undertake chemical separation of plutonium from MOX fuel. It is debatable how easy it would then be to assemble the plutonium into a crude nuclear device capable of exploding. However, a terrorist group would arguably be able to exercise considerable power by merely threatening to explode such a weapon".
Following two periods of public consultation and comment on BNFL's application to commission the SMP and the Environment Agency's report to government, which has not elicited any formal announcement, is it not premature to talk of arrangements for shipping MOX fuel to a country which is undecided about the questionable merits of burning it in conventional reactors?
We urge the Government to declare that it will not permit BNFL's ships to leave Barrow-in-Furness docks.
Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment
Friends of the Earth
Cllr MARTIN HEMINGWAY
Nuclear Free Local Authorities
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Nuclear Control Institute, Washington DC
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