When the armed British nuclear transport ship Pacific Pintail sailed into a Japanese port today, it was met by protests from local Japanese anti-nuclear activists and Greenpeace.
Plutonium transport ship.
The ship sailed to the Sea of Japan coast under guard from
Japanese coastguard vessels and entered the port area of Takahama
The vessel is due to be loaded within the next few weeks with
rejected plutonium MOX fuel, shipped to Japan by British Nuclear
Fuels (BNFL) in 1999. Then the ship is expected to return to the UK
along one of three secret routes.
Greenpeace announced yesterday that the Arctic Sunrise, one of
the Greenpeace ships, would shortly arrive in Japan to join the
protests agsinst this MOX shipment. Greenpeace is also preparing a
legal challenge against the UK Government, in an effort to prevent
En-route nations react with alarm
Governments in the Caribbean condemned the planned shipment because
of the lack of any notification by the shipping states, Japan and
Britain. En-route nations also fear a terrorist attack or
catastrophic accident. During the past week former security
experts, including a former senior UK Government Minister from the
Defense Department, have labeled the shipment as vulnerable to
Furthermore, 34 Governments of the Organization of American
States (OAS) adopted a resolution calling for an assessment of the
security threats posed by nuclear transports through the Caribbean
Chile called in the British and Japanese ambassadors on Thursday
6th June to convey its concerns about the shipment.
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda at the OAS meeting made an
impassioned plea in reference to the planned plutonium MOX shipment
from Japan to the UK and called for an end to nuclear shipments.
They states, "Our small states are fearful that a deliberate act of
terror aimed at those ships may bring an end to our very existence.
This is not fanciful or farfetched fiction."
On Friday 14 June 2002, the Vice President of the Fiji Senate
made a statement on behalf of the Fiji Government. "The Fiji
Government is firmly opposed to all shipments of MOX fuel through
its EEZ and has always made this clear to the shipping states".
Shaun Burnie of Greenpeace said, "This plutonium MOX should
never have been shipped to Japan in the first place. In fact, these
shipments present a global threat to the environment through risk
of accident or deliberate attack. This shipment must be