CAMPAIGNERS challenged Direct Rail Services (DRS) over transporting nuclear waste during a charity open day at the site's Carlisle Kingmoor depot.

Direct Rail Services (DRS) is a subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which is charged with decommissioning redundant nuclear power stations and managing radioactive waste.

Radiation Free Lakeland used the well-attended day (July 6) to bring attention to concerns over the ongoing arrival of nuclear waste in Cumbria, particularly via some rail routes that have seen recent derailments, such as at Grange over Sands.

DRS has stated that nuclear materials have been safely transported by rail since 1962 without any radiological release incidents.

The day itself raised over £65,000 for local charities and causes, bringing with it around 1,500 attendees. 

Cumbrian campaigner Marianne Birkby said: "We spoke to lots of folks, many surprised that DRS was pulling radioactive wastes.

"We will continue to campaign as nuclear wastes continue to travel every week to Sellafield from all reactors across the UK on rail and in some instances by road to the rail head.  

Campaigners unfurl 'Thomas the Stank Engine' at DRS open dayCampaigners unfurl 'Thomas the Stank Engine' at DRS open day (Image: Supplied)

"We are especially concerned at the nuclear waste trains which continue to travel every week through the 1km long minewater impacted Bransty Tunnel under Whitehaven.

"Trains have been slowed to 10mph to avoid acid minewater splashback onto the flasks but the trains should be halted along with a halt to nuclear waste production," she said. 

To bring attention to the group's campaign, they brought along a banner featuring 'Thomas the Stank Engine' - which looks like a sinister version of the famed locomotive of children's literature.