Greenpeace video of 'terror attack' is condemned

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A video showing terrorists crashing a passenger plane into a nuclear power station - a vivid attack on the Government's alleged intention to build a new generation of nuclear power plants - has been condemned by the nuclear industry as "distasteful".

The 45-second Greenpeace film shows a family on a beach when a plane screams over them and smashes into the Sizewell nuclear plant behind them. "Do we really want more nuclear power stations? Tell Tony Blair nuclear power is not the answer to climate change," it warns.

British Nuclear Fuels, which runs Sellafield, said it would not dignify the video with a full response. "We are not prepared to comment on what appears to be a distasteful publicity campaign," said a spokesman.

The Department for Trade and Industry accused Greenpeace of trying to "sensationalise" the issue.

Dr Frank Barnaby, a former Aldermaston nuclear physicist who now works for the Oxford Research Group, said Greenpeace, who released the computer-generated film on the internet, was "facing up to reality". He said: "The public have the right to know the danger. The Government says the terrorism threat is real. Building more nuclear power stations, especially after 11 September, is a risk we don't have to take.For the Government to encourage it is crazy."

He added that a terrorist attack on a British nuclear plant was "going to happen" and predicted that an attack at Sellafield in Cumbria, Britain's largest nuclear power plant, could kill more than two million. The worst-case scenario could see 2,500kg of caesium-137, the most dangerous isotope, escape - 100 times more than that released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Although there are no-fly zones two miles around civil nuclear power stations to prevent aviation accidents overhead, Dr Barnaby said that there would probably not be enough time to prevent a terrorist attack.