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Time to debate closure of Sellafield

9 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Environment Spokesperson, North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay said that new research which shows that nuclear debris released during afire at Sellafield in 1957 was up to twice the volume previously thought has called for an urgent national debate on the closure of the plant.

Daithí McKay said:

"This new research that the nuclear debris released during a fire at Sellafield in 1957 was up to twice the volume previously thought will come as no big surprise to many Irish people who are used to decades of lies and misinformation from successive British Governments about the dangers of the nuclear plant.

"It is also now clear that unacceptable risks were taken at the plant which led to the fire. Since 1957 there have been numerous scientific reports highlighting safety breaches.

"Irish people have been living with the consequences of that fire for many years with particularly high rates of cancer and birth defects in County Louth and in South Down.

"Sinn Féin has consistently called for the closure of the Sellafield plant previously known as Windscale. Sellafield is a discredited plant and it remains the most dangerous and unstable nuclear facility in Western Europe.

"It is time for a national debate about the closure of Sellafield. Sinn Féin will continue to fight for its immediate closure." ENDS

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