Plutonium ships found off coast of France - Nuclear Free Irish Sea Flotilla prepares to protest

Press release - 15 September, 2002

The Pacific Pintail 200 miles south of Cork (Ireland).

The two armed nuclear freighters, the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal, carrying the now notorious shipment of rejected plutonium fuel were located earlier today by Greenpeace in the North Atlantic, 200 miles west of the French port of Brest. The two vessels were heading north towards the southwest Irish Sea. The ships have sailed around 17,500 miles since they left Japan in July, and have under 450 miles before they reach Barrow-in-Furness, south of Sellafield on Tuesday morning.

The Nuclear Free Irish Sea Flotilla of small boats and its support vessel, the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, are currently in the south of the Irish Sea after leaving the port of Holyhead early this morning. A RAF Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft has been monitoring the progress of the Rainbow Warrior and the rest of the flotilla during the day. Another part of the flotilla departed Holyhead for Barrow on Sunday morning.

"The Nuclear Free Irish Sea Flotilla now numbers over twenty yachts and is growing daily with other yachts on standby. It has been deployed to different areas of the Irish Sea to ensure the ships receive the maximum impact of the protest," said Shaun Burnie, Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaigner, on board the Rainbow Warrior. "These two international pariah ships will enter the Irish Sea tomorrow to be confronted with flotilla boats, which together represent the views of countries around the world which are saying this trade in nuclear bomb material has to stop before a disaster happens."