Spent nuclear material being moved by rail generates much criticism from environmentalists despite its impeccable safety record, but it also generates a substantial income. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES finds out more.
Above: Nuclear traffic generates short trains which are often worked by locomotives in multiple. On June 29 2016, DRS Class 37s 37259 and 37069 cross Eskmeals viaduct with the 5.18pm Sellafield-Crewe Coal Sidings working formed of three FNA nuclear flask wagons. Bruce Galloway.
FOLLOWING the development of atomic weapons at the end of the Second World War, in 1954 the Atomic Energy Authority was established with the intention of promoting the use of nuclear energy for power generation. Less widely publicised was the fact that early developments were also closely tied up with the desire to produce weapons-grade plutonium.