• January 6, 2015


The Celtic League has asked the United Kingdom Department of the Environment and Climate Change about safety systems on a ship carrying nuclear waste which caught fire off Scotland in October.

See below:

“Baroness Verma
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
55 Whitehall
United Kingdom


Dear Minister,

I write with reference to the incident on 7th October when the converted Ro Ro freight vessel, MV Parida, caught fire and was disabled for a period off the north east of Scotland whilst transporting nuclear waste material from Dounreay to Antwerp.

Can you advise if DECC believe this type of vessel is suitable for the carriage of such hazardous waste and if so does it have the necessary dangerous goods certification and when was this last validated?

Clearly for any vessel carrying nuclear materials to not be equipped with necessary back-up systems and effectively to be drifting out of control for many hours must be a cause for concern?

What back-up systems in terms of fire safety and secondary steering and navigation are in place on the MV Parida?

Some years ago the Celtic League were given the opportunity via (the then) British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) to visit their shipping transport facility at Barrow and go onboard the ships of their PNTL subsidiary and see the systems in place at that time on those vessels.

The systems in place (whilst of course never fail safe) were impressive and a cursory examination of the specification for MV Parida shows that it comes nowhere near the standard we witnessed.

Whilst the nuclear waste carried by MV Parida may have been of a much lower category than that carried by PNTL it is none the less dangerous material and it is of grave concern that an incident of this type occurred.

Incidentally I would also record that the incident was not helped by the fact that emergency towing provision around the United Kingdom has been cut back by the present UK government.

Is a report being compiled on the MV Parida incident and if so when will this be available?

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Related link here at the Celtic League main archive:


The extent of the damage sustained by the MV Parida is apparent in this video on Youtube:

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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