You are here: Isle of Man > Isle of Man News
Isle of Man News
General News
Nuclear Ship Owners offer Environment Minister Reassurance on Safety of the “Atlantic Osprey” 6 January 2006

    The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), owner of the nuclear cargo ship ‘Atlantic Osprey’, has informed the Environment Minister, John Rimington, MHK, of their ‘commitment to the safety of nuclear materials transported by sea.’

    The NDA) was responding to the Environment Minister’s recent request for reassurance regarding the safety of the ship, which is currently being used to transport nuclear materials between Sellafield and European ports. Although owned by the NDA the ‘Atlantic Osprey’ is being operated by British Nuclear Group Ltd, which also manages the Sellafield site in Cumbria. British Nuclear Group use this relatively small nuclear cargo ship (an INF Class 2 vessel), operating out of Workington port, to deliver Mixed Oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel produced at Sellafield to customers in Europe.

    The NDA’s Nuclear Safety and Security Director, Laurence Williams, has responded positively to the Isle of Man Government’s concerns as detailed by the Environment Minister, and also offered him an additional face-to-face information briefing should he consider it helpful. In his letter, Mr Williams explained that arrangements for transporting radioactive materials between the UK and Europe are different from those for transportation to Japan, because of the differences in the distance travelled and the proximity to the UK.

    John Rimington, commenting on the response from the NDA said:

    'I am pleased that the NDA, as owners of the ‘Atlantic Osprey’, have provided me with the further details I sought concerning the safety arrangements which apply to this type of nuclear cargo vessel. Of course, I do remain concerned that nuclear material will continue to be transported to and from Sellafield through the Irish Sea. My Department will continue to maintain a close interest in the use of this ship for handling Sellafield cargoes and we may wish to request further information from the NDA in due course. One of the prime objectives of Isle of Man Government is to see an end to all reprocessing and fuel manufacturing at Sellafield, and that policy certainly extends to the shipment of Mixed Oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel through the Irish Sea. There is always the risk of an accident and I believe, due to our proximity to Sellafield, such an event would have a damaging impact on the Island’s economic interests, which depend on our clean and safe environment”.

    6th January 2006

    More stories >>>  

    Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World