Privatised railway network & the potential terrorist threat?

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Fri, 21/07/2006 - 10:41,

Found this story on the net and although it stems from one of the infamous "Red Tops" which litter the British press,if there is an element of truth in it then there is a cause for concern.

'Terror risk' over nuclear cargo
A newspaper reporter walked up to an unattended train carrying nuclear waste and planted a fake bomb on it, the Daily Mirror has said.
Reporter Tom Parry said he placed the fake device on the train, travelling from Kent to Cumbria, at a north west London depot in a built-up area.

The paper said many trains carry waste between nuclear power stations each week and could be a terror target.

Train operator Direct Rail Services (DRS) has not commented on the claims.

Friday's edition of the Daily Mirror claimed: "A terrorist could have blown up the waste - sparking a vast toxic cloud that would have killed hundreds."

This was not a one-off. It was the tenth time I had wandered freely into the depot
Tom Parry

Mr Parry said he placed a device that could have been a bomb on the train's 12-ton cargo as it sat in sidings at the depot.

He said he carried out the act in daylight, while the wagons were left unsupervised for nearly 10 minutes.

The train, which looked like "an ordinary freight train", had left Dungeness three hours earlier, passing slowly through Ashford, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and south London.

It would have continued through Milton Keynes, Rugby, Crewe and Warrington, before arriving at Sellafield.

The newspaper claimed the train was carrying radioactive flasks of spent uranium fuel rods.

'Stringent security'

It said the depot was "a short walk" from a sports stadium, a large hospital, one of London's major roads, and was surrounded by housing estates.

Mr Parry said his only identification as a legitimate rail worker was a fluorescent orange jacket and hard hat, which could be bought at any builders' merchants.

He said: "This was not a one-off. It was the 10th time I had wandered freely into the depot."

According to the newspaper, Direct Rail Service initially claimed it would not have been possible to get close to the nuclear flasks while the train was stationary in the yard.

But it said that after seeing the evidence, a DRS spokeswoman said: "The entire journey is protected by very stringent security. However, having seen these pictures we will speak with our security people. A full investigation will be carried out."

DRS has not commented further.

Story from BBC NEWS:

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