Dangerous atomic cargo travelled along Norwegian coast / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Dangerous atomic cargo travelled along Norwegian coast. The Danish cargo ship “Puma” carrying hazardous nuclear waste was spotted sailing off the coast of Norway. The “Puma” is loaded with spent uranium fuel is on its way to Russia, where the cargo is to be taken to the Mayak plant just north of Chelyabinsk in the South-Urals for safe deposit. According to representatives from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency (NRPA), the number of ships carrying radioactive cargos has increased lately.  

puma, ship, murmansk, radioactive, waste, uranium, fuel, chelyabinsk, mayak, plant, south-urals, murmansk



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Dangerous atomic cargo travelled along Norwegian coast

Published on Monday, 13th December, 2010 at 12:12 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

The Danish cargo ship “Puma” carrying hazardous nuclear waste was spotted sailing off the coast of Norway.



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The “Puma” is loaded with spent uranium fuel is on its way to Russia, where the cargo is to be taken to the Mayak plant just north of Chelyabinsk in the South-Urals for safe deposit.

According to representatives from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency (NRPA), the number of ships carrying radioactive cargos has increased lately.  

Although Norwegian nuclear authorities monitor vessels with dangerous cargo via the radar-based Automatic Identification System (AIS), the vessel is not required to have any permission from Norwegian authorities to transport the highly radioactive load from Slovenia to Murmansk, as long as it stays in international waters.  

“We monitor all of these shipments. It raises new and interesting issues, meaning we must increase our focus on this development,” Eldrid Holo of the NRPA told NRK last week.

Authorities seem unconcerned about the situation. According to Johan Marius Ly, Emergency Department Director at the Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket), “we were aware of the ship long before it approached waters near the Norwegian coast. There are also a relatively limited number of ships engaged in this type of transport,” reported Stavanger Aftenblad.

However, Ms Holo says Norwegian authorities were not notified about “Puma’s” cargo, which Mr Ly confirms.

“It was Friends of the Earth Norway (Naturvernforbundet) which first alerted us to this transport. Others have also told us about it, subsequently,” he said.

Dangerous agreement?

The cargo is part of an agreement between Russia and the US aimed at deterring the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Both countries decided to gather all the reserves of enriched uranium, so that they would not fall in the hands of terrorists. In theory, enriched uranium could be used to manufacture nuclear weapons or dirty-bombs, with obviously devastating effect.

This is also not the first time hazardous radioactive material has sailed off the coast of Norway. In September, a ship loaded with highly-enriched uranium (HEU) journeyed from a nuclear research reactor outside Warsaw to Mayak.

Environmentalist groups have been vehement about their position regarding nuclear waste transportation and reprocessing.

“This is waste we don’t want to have on the shore someplace along the coast of Norway,” Yngvild Lorentzen, head Friends of the Earth's International Projects department, says in a press release, asking for Norwegian authorities to be prepared in case of emergency.

Moreover, though the risk is minimal, any accidents on the way could also have terrible repercussions, according to Naturvernforbundet’s Gunnar Album.

“Radioactivity could be leaked into the water if the ship goes down. The sea will be toxic for generations,” he told Stavanger Aftenblad.

The local green Russian NGO “Priroda i Molodesh” (Nature and Youth) tells The BarentsObserver it is against having nuclear waste collected from all around Europe and brought to Mayak,

“The place is the most radioactive polluted place on Earth.”

“Puma” is expected to arrive in Murmansk today, according to portarrivals.com.




Published on Monday, 13th December, 2010 at 12:12 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

This post has the following tags: puma, ship, murmansk, radioactive, waste, uranium, fuel, chelyabinsk, mayak, plant, south-urals, murmansk.





  
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