THE involvement of Barrow and West Cumbria in the movement of spent nuclear fuel from Japan for reprocessing now stretches back a half-century.

News of a major contract was announced in The Mail, on May 15, in 1968.

James Fisher and Sons, the Barrow shipowners, have been awarded a contract by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority to carry irradiated nuclear fuel from Japan to Britain.

"The fuel will be processed at Windscale atom plant for the recovery of valuable residual contents."

The company's Stream Fisher had been moving similar nuclear fuel shipments from Mediterranean ports for the previous three years. It carried fuel from Italy's Latina power station, via Anzio.

Company chairman, Sir John Fisher, expected the Japanese contract to extend over a number of years and the company was to have a cargo boat called Leven Fisher specially fitted out for the task.