British ships arrive in Japan to carry plutonium to US

Baku, March 22, AZERTAC

Two British ships arrived in eastern Japan to transport a shipment of plutonium — enough to make dozens of atomic bombs — to the U.S. for storage under a bilateral agreement, according to AP.

The ships arrived at the coastal village of Tokai, northeast of Tokyo, home to the country's main nuclear research facility, the Japan Atomic and Energy Agency, according to the Kyodo News agency and citizens' groups. It will take several hours to load the plutonium-filled casks onto the ships, both fitted with naval guns and other protection.

The Pacific Egret and Pacific Heron, both operated by Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd., will take the 331 kilograms (730 pounds) of plutonium to the Savannah River Site, a U.S. government facility in South Carolina, under a pledge made by Japan in 2014. The plutonium, mostly from Britain, and some from the U.S. and France, had been used for research purposes.

The Pacific Egret docked first and appeared to be loading the plutonium, with the second ship standing by off-shore, according to media reports and Japanese and international anti-nuclear groups.

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