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Morgan calls for closer co-operation with Nordic countries in battle to shut Sellafield

13 February, 2004

Speaking today at a roundtable conference on Sellafield in London organised by the Norwegian based Bellona Foundation, Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Arthur Morgan TD, called for greater co-operation between all countries in the battle to have the nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield shut down. He said that the Irish Government, while holding the Presidency of the European Union was in an 'unrivalled position' to advance this.

Deputy Morgan said, "It is vital that all governments, communities and organisations who wish to have the reprocessing plant at Sellafield closed, co-operate and work together to ensure a safer future for us all. This Conference is a very welcome development in that respect.

"We must also cooperate within the European Union to lead the way in progressively moving away from nuclear energy and towards the generation of electricity from renewable sources. In this regard, the Irish Government is now in an unrivalled position to advance the situation during its current presidency of the European Union.

"It is also important that we work with the communities of North West England ? we must work with the workers at Sellafield, we must work with the British Government and through consensus and cooperation bring this nightmare to a conclusion. In the mean time, the contribution of Bellona could be of immense importance.

"The news from Bellona of a possible breakthrough in methods to treat TC99 emissions from the Sellafield plant is, indeed, very welcome. Naturally, we will require some convincing of the veracity of such claims and, no doubt, a period of time and vigorous checking to place trust in any such process. This has nothing to do with a mistrust of Bellona. Rather we have a deep-rooted mistrust of anything to do with BNFL and Sellafield.

"After all, how could any reasonable person be expected to believe anything BNFL would say, given their history and performance to date.

"While I would welcome any reduction of pollution emissions, I would settle for nothing less than a closure of this environmental monstrosity. That is the demand of the Irish people and it is my demand also."

Deputy Morgan also criticised a proposal from BNFL, put forward at the conference by NIREX, for the disposal of legacy waste by burying it underground at a time when the use of landfill for all other forms of waste is becoming obsolete.

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