Well, maybe this isn\’t all that bright an idea.
An ageing car ferry will ship hundreds of pounds of bomb-grade plutonium from Britain to France this week with just a handful of armed guards to protect it from terrorists.
The ship, a former roll-on-roll-off ferry which has not been identified for security reasons, will take the cargo of plutonium oxide down the west coast and across to a company in France.
There\’s nothing really very wrong with that bit. As long as the material isn\’t stolen it\’s a safe enough way for it to travel.
Dr Frank Barnaby, an expert on nuclear terrorism and a former atom bomb tester, said the plutonium was ideal for manufacturing \’\’dirty bombs".
He said: "A reasonably resourced terrorist group would have no problem making a bomb out of this material. This is madness – totally irresponsible."
The vessel has been minimally converted to carry the toxic load from Sellafield, in Cumbria, to France and is expected to set sail this week, it was reported yesterday.
Campaigners called for the shipment to be stopped.
Martin Forwood, of Core, which monitors nuclear shipments, said: "Ministers should step in and stop this in the light of the terrorist threat."
Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrat environment spokesman and MP for Northavon, near Bristol, said: "This is a risk to our national security."
The best way for it not to be stolen is for no one to know when it is sailing, of course. You know, loose lips sink ships, that sort of stuff? That\’s the, err, threat to national security here.