ANTI-NUCLEAR protesters yesterday demonstrated at the UK Government’s Edinburgh outpost – the Scotland Office – to raise awareness about the dangers of “continued nuclear engagement”.

Wearing jackets emblazoned with TPNW (Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons), which was signed in July 2017, the members of the Trident Ploughshares group were almost outnumbered by police as they knocked on the door of the plush Melville Crescent building.

In a live Facebook video, the

demonstrators said they were “attempting to engage in peaceful conversation about the dangers of continued nuclear engagement and the benefits of supporting fully the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.

As in previous protests, the Scotland Office had been chosen because it was seen as “the outpost, within the devolution settlement, of the Westminster government north of the Tweed”.

The demonstration came as another protest group -–the Highlands Against Nuclear Transport (HANT) – announced that two veteran protesters would be speaking at its public meeting tomorrow in Inverness.

Shigeo Kobayashi and his wife Ann are members of Japanese Against Nuclear UK – a campaign group based in London – and have been involved in the peace movement for many years in Japan, the UK, India and Thailand.

Both also carried out emergency relief work after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011

Kobayashi will deliver an overview of the current state of Japan’s nuclear industry and how the clean-up operation at Fukushima is progressing.

He will also discuss his involvement in anti-nuclear campaigns generally.

The activist demonstrates every week against nuclear power outside the Japanese Embassy in London and outside the offices of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), also in London.

A major part of his presentation at tomorrow’s meeting will be the need for the UK to change its safety regime to take account of all the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster.

The gathering will also hear from SNP Highland councillor Ron MacWilliam, the opposition spokesperson on the local authority’s environment, development and infrastructure committee.

Both speakers will give insights into their positions on nuclear power and the potential of renewable energy. They will also cover the risks – which were first exposed by HANT in 2013 – inherent in the transport of nuclear waste from Dounreay, near Thurso, to Sellafield in Cumbria, and the US, by sea, rail and air.

The group said there was a need to raise public awareness about these transports and the dangers they pose to local people, as well as the economy and environment.

Last August HANT and other campaigners took part in a demonstration in Inverness over the transport of radioactive waste from Dounreay.

That followed an incident the previous month when a train carrying nuclear waste skipped a stop signal near Kingussie as the Caledonian Sleeper service was heading north on the line.

Tor Justad, HANT’s chairperson, said: “The incident should concern everyone in Scotland. The nuclear materials being removed from Dounreay as part of decommissioning are highly radioactive and moving them from a secure site by sea and rail creates unacceptable risks.”