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Monday 21st
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Felicity Collier

SCOTLAND is critically unprepared to deal with a serious incident arising from nuclear warheads being transported on public roads, a report warned yesterday.

Nuclear weapons are regularly moved to and from factories at Aldermaston and Burghfield, passing through highly populated areas.

Despite this, local authorities do not have evacuation procedures in place in case a serious incident occurs along the convoys’ routes, according to research by Scottish Green Party MSP Mark Ruskell in conjunction with Nukewatch UK, a group which monitors and tracks the movement of weapons from factories.

The Unready Scotland report looked at routes taken by the convoys and the preparedness of local authorities in the event of a disaster.

None of the councils surveyed had conducted risk assessments specif c to the nuclear convoys when travelling on their roads.

Report co-author Jane Tallents explained: “If a warhead truck was in a serious collision on, say, the Edinburgh by-pass close to Juniper Green, the MoD convoy personnel would establish a cordon and communicate, if possible, with the emergency services.

“The civil authorities would then have to put in place immediately complex and challenging arrangements for sheltering and evacuation.

“The new survey of local councils on the convoy routes shows that the contingency planning or communication channels are not in place for such an emergency.”

Wimbledon Disarmament Coalition secretary Joanne Bazley told the Star: “The transport of nuclear weapons is the public face of nuclear weapons.

“There is a huge danger of a nuclear accident — it’s more likely than war.

“It could cause devastation [and authorities] haven’t even begun to think about it.”