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Weapons-ready plutonium that terrorists could easily make into a nuclear bomb is to be carried hundreds of miles down the west coast of Britain in an unarmed ship, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
Experts say that the plutonium dioxide powder, shortly to be taken to France from the Sellafield nuclear complex for the first time, would be an ideal material for creating a nuclear explosion and for use in a dirty bomb. One calls it "the worst possible material" to ship.
Yet the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which owns Sellafield, is to take it on an old roll-on roll-off ferry with few security and safety features – even though it has used armed and better-equipped vessels to transport less dangerous nuclear materials in the past.