Letter: Nuclear waste safe on roads

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The Independent Online
Nuclear waste safe on roads

Sir: Your reporter is wrong in asserting that there was a leakage of radioactive waste from a container en route from Trawsfynydd power station ("Inquiry into radioactivity scare", 23 April). There was no accident and the steel box was not damaged. What Magnox Electric is investigating is how surface readings on the container were found on arrival to be above the permitted limit, though still far too low to cause anyone any harm.

Professor George Huxley (Letters, 28 April) asks why Magnox Electric uses road transport. The answer is that it is safe, reliable and economic. Low-level waste - typically redundant plant, lightly contaminated protective clothing and cleaning materials as well as dust and debris trapped by clean-up systems - is transported in robust steel containers approved by the regulator for road transport. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Magnox Electric's radioactive material movements do indeed travel by rail.

There are now around half-a-million package movements of radioactive material a year involving hospitals, universities, and manufacturing companies as well as the nuclear industry and they are all governed by stringent safety measures. Magnox Electric has been transporting radioactive materials for 35 years, and we have not had a single accident resulting in a release of radioactive material.

A T ELLIS

Station Manager

Magnox

Trawsfynydd Power Station

Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd

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