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Injunction Against Greenpeace Over Plutonium

HIGH COURT GRANTS INJUNCTION AGAINST GREENPEACE OVER PLUTONIUM SHIPMENT TO JAPAN

LONDON, July 16, 1999 - Global opposition to shipments of nuclear weapons-usable plutonium fuel from Britain and France to Japan will continue in spite of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd obtaining a wide-ranging court injunction preventing any interference with the transportation of the plutonium, Greenpeace said today.

Greenpeace and other groups in Ireland, Scotland, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, United States, and the Pacific region will take part in an international protest against the plutonium shipments on Monday July 19. Caribbean states and the New Zealand Government have already expressed formal opposition to this shipment, the first commercial plutonium fuel shipment to Japan and some 50 nations have objected to previous nuclear transports.

Previous nuclear shipments have traveled on three different routes: around the Cape of Good Hope in Southern Africa and up through the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, Cape Horn on the tip of Latin America and also through the Caribbean and the Panama Canal.

"Greenpeace is determined to continue bringing these dangerous shipments to public attention, and to alert the international community to the risks they pose to the environment and nuclear non-proliferation," said Greenpeace nuclear campaigner MikeTownsley.

British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) was today granted an injunction in the High Court in London which restrains Greenpeace from any physical interference with the Pacific Pintail and the Pacific Teal or with the transport of the plutonium fuel from Sellafield to the vessels at Barrow docks.

At 2pm today BNFL will seek a similar injunction to cover the loading and shipment of the plutonium fuel at the port of Cherbourg.

Two British freighters, the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal, are due to leave the port of Barrow in northern England imminently to undertake the transport to Japan.

BNFL is currently preparing to load one ship in Barrow, in the English north-west, with a cargo of eight plutonium fuel elements containing some 225 kilograms of plutonium. A second ship in Barrow will travel to the French port of Cherbourg where it will be loaded with 32 MOX fuel elements containing an estimated 221 kilograms of plutonium. The two ships are then expected to rendezvous at sea, off the French Atlantic coast, and continue together on the 20,000 mile voyage to Japan.

For more information: http://www.greenpeace.org


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