Letter: Nuclear waste by the trainload

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The Independent Online
Sir: You report (Significant shorts; "Inquiry into radioactivity scare", 23 April) that radioactive waste leaked from a container damaged en route from Trawsfynydd nuclear power station to Drigg in Cumbria. The container was sent by road on the authority of Magnox Electric, the firm responsible for decommissioning at Trawsfynydd.

The accident rate per tonne-kilometre on roads is far higher than on rail. There is a railway line linking Trawsfynydd with the rest of the rail system. Railways in Cumbria are capable of carrying freight.

Students of the endemic confusions in British inland transport policy would be obliged if Magnox Electric would now explain why the dangerous load was forwarded by road, not by rail.

Professor GEORGE HUXLEY

Church Enstone, Oxfordshire

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