Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Laois/Offaly TD Brian Stanley, has called on Minister Phil Hogan to clarify the government’s position on Sellafield.
Responding to a report on Sellafield released by Minister Hogan, Mr Stanley said, “A report released by Minister Hogan concludes that incidents at the Sellafield site resulting in the release of radioactive material would result in ‘no observable health effects in Ireland’.
“But this totally flies in the face of an earlier damning report from Britain’s National Audit Office (NAO). The NAO report says that the cost of decommissioning the plant has spiralled out of control, and some facilities used to store waste have deteriorated.
“Sellafield stores the equivalent of 27 Olympic-sized swimming pools of radioactive waste. The NAO report states that the treatment facilities and some of the older storage tanks on site deteriorated so much that their contents pose significant risks to people and the environment. Minister Hogan must explain how these two reports are compatible.
“Sellafield is situated in Cumbria in north-west England. At its closest point it is only 180 kilometres from the Irish coast. We are witnessing yet another u-turn from the Labour Party. In their election manifesto 2011 Labour state ‘We will continue to oppose the Sellafield plant and other installations in the UK which pose a risk to our people’.”
Mr Stanley concluded, “We will be meeting with Minister Hogan this week to discuss this report and we will be seeking reassurances that the government remains committed to seeking the closure of Sellafield.” ENDS