In press statements issued yesterday (17th September) by the two principal users/occupants of the Ramsden Dock nuclear shipping terminal – INS (International Nuclear Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and managers of nuclear transport contracts) and PNTL (Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited who operate the ships on behalf of INS – claim that the maritime terminal at Barrow-in-Furness has successfully completed 5,555 days ‘without a lost time accident’.
The claim (see also In-Cumbria) based apparently over an operational timeline of 15 years, 3 months and 17 days and covering non-radiological ‘safety at the terminal , in our offices, on board the vessels or wherever our colleagues are across the world …’ from memory are patently wrong and grossly misleading’ said Martin Forwood who, as Campaign Coordinator of local anti-nuclear group CORE, has routinely attended the Ramsden Dock Terminal Stakeholder Group (RDTSG) meetings for decades.
The Minutes of these meetings (held once or twice a year) can be found on the PNTL/ INS websites and clearly expose numerous ‘lost time conventional accidents’ during the 5,555 day period claimed. As random examples INS reports a damaged sciatic nerve to a contractor working at the terminal which resulted in a ‘days away’ case (Minutes February 2013) and a significant event involving a major injury to an off-duty seafarer who slipped/tripped while on board a ship at Barrow (Minutes December 2013). Earlier, INS even confirms in the Minutes of the May 2007 meeting that the last accident at the terminal ‘resulting in time away from work’ was in November 2004 (less than 15 years ago). Martin Forwood added that ‘these and other INS safety mishaps plus those admitted by PNTL wholly undermine the terminals claims which should be given the widest of berths and taken with an oversize pinch of sea salt.’