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Train carrying empty nuclear flasks derailed

DA! : Friday March 1, 2001
A train carrying spent nuclear fuel flasks has derailed as it arrived at a power station.
Police say no one was injured in the incident outside the Torness power station near Dunbar, East Lothian.

The accident happened around 9.45am, when two of the train's carriages derailed. One of them was carrying an empty nuclear flask, the other had no load. The train was carrying three empty flasks in total.

The train had been travelling at 5mph when the derailment happened and none of the flasks were damaged, said a Janine Claber, spokeswoman for freight company Direct Rail Services, a subsidiary of British Nuclear Fuels.

The incident took place adjacent to the east coast main line while the train was reversing at a railhead but the derailed carriages remained upright and British Transport Police said disruption to passenger services was unlikely.

Ms Claber added: "It was a very minor derailment which happened at low speed. The wagons remained upright and it did not happen on the main line."

Railtrack has been informed of the incident and is managing any resulting disruption to mainline services, she added.

Emergency services along with Railtrack and DRS personnel attended the scene.

All used nuclear fuel is transported in heavily shielded, purpose-built containers known as flasks, each weighing more than 50 tonnes, said Ms Claber.

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This file last updated: Friday, 02-Mar-2001 11:22:23 EST
Copyright © David Fry 1999, 2000