Monday, May 12, 2014

Nuclear flask collision test in 1984

At the start of the month I showed you a nuclear flask train passing Appledore in Kent.

The safety of these trains used to be a major concern of environmentalists. I remember one group standing on a suburban platform as one trundled past and waving a cardboard tube at it. They then said they could have been terrorists with a rocket launcher and this proved these workings should be stopped at once.

So in 1984 the nuclear and rail authorities decided to stage a mock accident it which a derailed flask was hit by a locomotive going at full tilt.

The collision took place on the Old Dalby test track in Leicestershire - part of the old Midland line from Melton Mowbray to Nottingham.

As you will see from this video, the flask survived pretty much unscathed. 46009 was not so lucky.

1 comment:

Phil Beesley said...

In some respects, not a lot has changed in 30 years. The nuclear power industry is still secretive -- I mean more than is necessary to protect intellectual property or national political interest -- and it has an armed police force.

The nuclear power industry hasn't worked out how to extricate itself from the nuclear bomb industry. At a time when people seek continuous low-CO2 power, they continually reject nuclear power.

All the same, the UK population is happy about twelve nuclear reactors in Navy submarines.

What a mess we are in and how poorly we assess risk. Although it has to be said that some people who know things have been dishonest. I'd like to use more nuclear power, maybe, if I trusted.