Barnet regretted the evasive and partial information provided by BNFL so far and called on it to come clean on its proposals. The chief executive will ask BNFL to provide:
- volumes of nuclear materials involved
- the duration of the contract
- the timetable of train movements
- the start of train movements
The council, united in its condemnation of BNFL, will be doing everything within its power to stop the Cricklewood Sidings being a transportation and assembly point.
Initially, BNFL notified the wrong council and the wrong MP about the proposed use of Cricklewood sidings. This has led Barnet LBC and residents to question BNFL's knowledge of the area and further raises issues of security and safety.
Barnet LBC has been trying to get information about the proposals and answers to residents' questions. BNFL's last written response to the council could not confirm how much used fuel would be stored or when. This information was deemed 'commercially confidential'. BNFL also shed little light on their safety regulations.
The chief executive will be notifying the secretary of state for the department of environment, transport and the regions, Rudi Vis MP, Andrew Dismore MP, Pauline Green MEP and local residents' groups of Barnet LBC's opposition to the use of Cricklewood Sidings as a train assembly point for spent nuclear fuel.
Barnet's powers to act are limited. Although it is the emergency planning authority it is not a statutory consultee to the plans. Neither the Rail Operator nor BNFL have any obligations to Barnet LBC.
Council leader Alan Williams said:
'We are very alarmed at BNFL's plans and we will be doing all we can to try and prevent them.
'Spent nuclear fuel rods should be kept away from London and other high density urban areas. I do not think it is beyond the wit of BNFL and the train companies to achieve this.
'At the very least BNFL must provide information to give assurances to residents about safety concerns. I hope that we get some answers and soon.'