EXCLUSIVE: Olympics halts nuclear trains through Hackney

12:19 21 July 2011

A train transporting steel flasks containing spent nuclear fuel rods

A train transporting steel flasks containing spent nuclear fuel rods


Trains carrying radioactive material from nuclear plants on a line through the Olympic Park and on to Hackney are to be suspended throughout the London 2012 Games, it was revealed this week.

The trains carry spent nuclear fuel rods in 30cm thick reinforced steel lead-lined flasks from the Suffolk’s Sizewell reactor along the former North London Line en-route to Sellafield, in Cumbria, to be reprocessed.

For over 30 years anti-nuclear protestors have campaigned to halt the transportation of the hazardous material by rail through the centre of London claiming it was a potential disaster risk and a terrorist target, with the Olympics heightening that threat.

Rail operators Direct Rail Services confirmed the suspension following discussions with the Olympic Delivery Authority and Magnox Ltd, which manages the nuclear plants.

It stressed the decision had nothing to do with terrorist fears explaining it was designed free up space for more passenger trains because of the increased demand during the nine week period of the Olympics and Paralympics.

“As responsible operators, we always work closely with our regulators and suppliers in all our areas of operation and making these temporary changes to our spent nuclear fuel movements will ensure that we do not impede on passenger train operators’ ability to deliver an efficient service,” said a DRS spokeswoman.

The trains currently run through the Olympic site and pass through four Hackney stations - Hackney Wick, Homerton, Hackney Central, and Dalston Kingsland.

Trains from Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, which travel through South London before meeting the north London line at Willesden, will not be suspended.

The Nuclear Trains Action Group (NTAG) - part of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament , which has been fighting to stop the trains for decades is to go ahead this Saturday with a demonstration where protestors will don radiation suits at stations along the North London Line and stage a “die-in” at Stratford at 1.45pm.

NTAG chairwoman Mary Flanagan, of Middleton Road, Dalston, said: “This is the first we’ve heard of it and we’ve been in talks with them for years. I like to think of this as a victory – we’ve been fighting hard for this. It’s a huge relief.”

Latest London transportation news

Monday, November 30, 2015
A small boy lifts the 6.5kg Hummingbird bike

Cycling is becoming ever more popular as people look for cheaper ways to travel, but many people are put off by the challenge of storing a bulky bike, or lugging it on public transport for part of their journey.

Monday, November 30, 2015
There are delays on Tooting Bec Road after an accident

Tooting Bec Road in south London was closed this morning after an accident involving a motorbike and a car.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Severe delays yet again on the Piccadilly Line this morning have left many commuters furious.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
The RMT are warning Tube platforms are 'dangerously overcrowded', particularly at major hubs (Picture: PA Images)

Overcrowding on Tube platforms combined with cuts in staffing levels has created ‘a lethal cocktail’ and the London Underground (LU) is ‘reaching breaking point’, Union leaders said today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
The protest takes place on Friday November 27 to highlight the number of cyclist deaths since 2013 (Picture: Nicola Branch)

Twenty one coffins will be laid outside the headquarters of TfL in a protest by campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists on Friday, to symbolise the deaths of riders on London’s road in the past two years.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
A lorry caught fire on the A12 near Chelmsford causing delays for London-bound drivers (Picture: Google Street View)

A lorry has caught fire on the A12 at Chelmsford causing long delays for London drivers.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

Latest Tech News