We Don't Want to be Europe's Nuclear Waste Basket

Greater Manchester and Merseyside CND groups joined forces with Chester Greenpeace in October to take part in a Europe wide day of action against nuclear transportation. The protest, organised by national CND in conjunction with anti-nuclear groups across Europe, aimed to highlight the ever present dangers of transporting nuclear materials and waste around our roads and railways. Groups visited ten nuclear sites in this country, and actions also happened in Germany, Belgium, France and Sweden. We visited our nearest nuclear site, Capen-hurst enrichment facility in Cheshire, to hand over a joint statement from Anglo-German anti-nuclear campaigners.

Police were ready and waiting for us when we appeared, and for some reason wouldn't let us past the main gate. As there is no visitors centre, and the research and technology centre was closed, we had to have our demo outside the main gate, hanging a banner and displaying placards. We demanded to see the duty site manager, Dave Rush. We handed over the joint state-ment and then put him on the spot by asking a number of questions. Chester Green-peace were concerned about the nuclear trains they had seen travelling through their city, but Mr Rush assured us that they weren't from Capen-hurst as all their nuclear materials travel by road. We also asked about the depleted uranium that was produced as a result of the enrichment process, and he told us that most of it remains on site. He said that he didn't know whether any of the material is sent on to the US for further enrichment into weapons grade uranium. We weren't allowed access to the site (they'd never heard of Citizens Inspections!), but he did say that we could contact the press officer who could arrange a guided tour at a future date.

One of the most positive aspects was the links made with the other groups. We had with us two students from Man-chester who've only recently got involved with CND. Keith from Bolton CND amused us by tying the banner up with his shoelaces and making jokes. Meanwhile, we were obsess-ively plagued by a police photographer who followed us back to our cars to catch the number plates. It wouldn't have taken much detective work to find out which one we travelled in - Keith's car bears the initials CND on the numberplate!

CND (0161 834 8301, gmdcnd@gn.apc.org)

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