Local anti-nuclear campaigners will march around the perimeter of the Olympic Park this Saturday, 10 July, and stage a symbolic ‘die in’ to highlight the threat posed by the regular movement of nuclear waste trains through London, including through the Olympic site.
The trains carry highly dangerous, radioactive waste from power stations in Southern and Eastern England to Sellafield, passing through inner London. Trains from Sizewell nuclear power station travel along the North London Line which passes through the Olympic Park, just a few dozen metres from the Aquatics Centre.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: "These trains routinely put Londoners at risk, with hazards from potential accidents as well as terrorism. Moving the necessary ingredients for a ‘dirty bomb’ through such a high-profile location puts Londoners in an even more dangerous situation. The Olympic planners must put a stop to these journeys in the run-up to and during the Games.
"The Government plans two new nuclear plants in the South East which would mean decades more of these deadly shipments passing within metres of houses, schools and hospitals. The consequences of an incident involving the highly radioactive spent fuel rods on these trains could affect hundreds of thousands of people. This is yet another reason why dirty, dangerous and expensive nuclear power is not the answer to climate change."
The risks to these trains has been highlighted a number of times, for instance in 2006 a Daily Mirror journalist planted a fake bomb on a nuclear waste train stopped in a London depot to show how vulnerable the trains are to a terrorist attack. [see note 4]
Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison of the Metropolitan Police, who leads on Olympic security has said "our biggest threat is without doubt terrorism" [note 5], yet no action has been taken to stop the trains passing through the Olympic site.
Protestors will be marching around the Olympic site perimeter and performing a symbolic ‘die-in’ at Stratford Station at 4.00pm. Protestors will also be leafleting shoppers and encouraging them to sign the petition against nuclear trains.
The protest is supported by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Green Party.