Tesco uses nuclear firm to run 'green trains'

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The Independent Online

The supermarket giant Tesco is using a rail firm set up to transport highly radioactive nuclear waste as part of its £100m bid to become the "greenest" retailer in Britain.

The chain boasted last month that it was the first major food retailer to shift large amounts of freight from Britain's roads back on to the railways, using specially imported "green" trains and carriages.

But these trains are run by a company set up by Sellafield's owner, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd, to move used nuclear fuel around the country. The freight company has even pulled the Royal Train.

Anti-nuclear campaign-ers say the company, Direct Rail Services, has been beset by accidents. Since it was set up in 1995 there have been numerous incidents involving nuclear fuel trains being derailed, waste flasks being dropped and, in May, a collision with a car at a crossing.

Tesco said using rail would save about 4.5 million road miles and 6,000 tons of CO 2 a year. "This is a contract with DRS's commercial freight side of their business and completely separate from what they do for BNFL," said a spokesperson.