Immortality and Nuclear Trains.
My mental vacation is over, I think! Yesterday I spent the afternoon with a film crew from Bristol, who had come to Plymouth to shoot some scenes for a documentary they are making about nuclear waste, and it’s transport around the South West on public transport routes, in particular trains lines.
Periodically, radioactive nuclear waste is transferred from Devonport Dockyard to Sellafield for processing, by train. This gives rise to several concerns, from the possibility of an accident, to the possibility of these trains being targetted by those with the will to do such things. Not that long ago actually, a journalist from the Daily Mirror managed to board one of these nuclear trains and plant a fake bomb on it. Makes you feel safe, eh?
And of course, accidents happen no matter how safety conscious you try to be. This is as true for the nuclear industry as it is for the gas industry – my own. In my few years living in Plymouth I have heard of several accidents involving nuclear materials from the dockyard. There has been spillages of radioactive fluid, there has been the derailing of an engine pulling a carriage containing a nuclear flask, and there has been the transport of a nuclear flask with a defective valve attached, which apparently trundled through Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton, Bristol, Crewe, and Walsall all the way to Sellafield regardless. Don’t you feel even more safe?
So I got the short straw to be one of the talking heads for this documentary. Before filming began I was asked to sign a release form allowing for any footage of myself to be used “worldwide” and “in perpetuity”! On mentioning this to the Princess, she remarked “You are immortal now!”
As luck would have it, just before the second piece to camera I had to do, I walked into a tree branch which left a long red scratch on my forehead. Yup, my five minutes of fame will see me disfigured!
The documentary is hoped to be ready for release early next year, and is to be shown originally on the Community Channel. For the sake of aesthetics, I hope there are less-maimed and ugly folk on it than I!