Nuclear Waste Trains

The timetable of the UK's nuclear waste trains

Feature story - 21 July, 2006
Unless you live near a Sellafield or a Dungeness, the dangers of radioactive waste probably seem a world away. They're not.

UK's Nuclear Waste Train timetable.

Hundreds of thousands of us are unwittingly exposed to the dangers of nuclear waste. Every week, trains carrying nuclear waste trundle along the UK's outdated rail network through our villages, towns and cities - often at peak times and only metres away from ordinary passenger trains.

Blair has given the green light to a new generation of nuclear power stations, which means more nuclear waste, more nuclear transports - and more terrorist targets.

Because the public has the right to know about the risks that Blair is putting us at, we've published a timetable of the nuclear train routes. The timetable is frighteningly easy to work out. Anyone could do it - just ask any train-spotter. So we're doing it first, to make sure the government acts before terrorists do.

The transport of nuclear material is recognised by the International Atomic Energy Agency to be the nuclear operation most vulnerable to terrorist attack or sabotage. Tests have shown the flasks to be highly vulnerable to attack from armour piercing rounds. The trains are unescorted other than by a driver and a guardsman. Their movements tend to be regular and along a single route. And they stop in normal stations, close enough for the general public just to lean over and touch - or for a journalist to plant a fake "bomb".

Worse, the transports are completely unnecessary; the trains carry spent fuel from each of the UK's nuclear reactors to Sellafield for reprocessing. But, due to a radioactive leak, the plant has been closed for a year and no reprocessing is actually taking place.

By taking the UK into a new nuclear age, Blair is putting us all at risk. Nuclear power is not the solution to climate change. Two thirds of the energy going into nuclear, coal and gas-fuelled power stations is lost as wasted heat. Decentralised energy would allow us to capture this heat and use it to heat nearby buildings and districts.

For details of the times and dates of your local nuclear waste transport, download the timetable (pdf).

Get active!

We've published the timetables to make sure the government acts quickly on nuclear transports - accidents waiting to happen. Please use the timetable to lobby the government about public safety and security aspects of these transports. Write to your MP demanding an end to nuclear transports through your area.

You can also help us to monitor nuclear trains passing through your station. If you see a nuclear train at your station, take a photo of it on your camera or mobile phone and send the image, along with the location, to with "Snap" as the subject.

Find out more

  • Download the report published by nuclear engineers John Large & Associates, which investigates the potential threat that a terrorist attack or serious accident might pose.