Adams Raises Sellafield threat in Dáil
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and TD for Louth today raised the issue of the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant during the first Leaders’ Questions of the 31st Dáil.
The Sinn Fein leader also raised the issue of the universal social charge and of the Bank bailout.
Commenting on the nuclear crisis in Japan, as a consequence of the earthquake and tsunami, the Sinn Féin leader extended sympathies to the people of Japan at this difficult time.
Following two recent earthquakes in the north of England, one of them in Cumbria – the site of the Sellafield plant – Deputy Adams asked the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to raise this issue with the British government. The Taoiseach agreed to do so.
Mr. Adams has called on the Irish government to take the lead in a “significant international campaign to exert pressure on the British government to close Sellafield.”
Mr. Adams said:
“Nuclear energy presents a significant risk to citizens much greater than any other form of energy.
"The unfolding crisis in Japan, where 11 of that country’s reactors are closed, has seen three explosions at the crisis hit Fukushima Daiichi plant in North East Japan.
"As a consequence people living within 30 kilometres of Fukushima have either been evacuated or told to stay indoors. And radiation levels are now dangerously high in some areas, with higher levels of radiation being found 250 kilometres away in Tokyo.
All of this has serious implications for the East coast of Ireland which is a short distance across the Irish Sea from Sellafield.
"In February there was another in a long list of contamination incidents at the British plant. However, of greatest concern were two earthquakes which occurred in the north of England before Christmas, including a 3.6 magnitude earthquake in Cumbria.
These present a direct threat to the security of the Sellafield plant and to the underground nuclear contamination bunker which was built there last year which can store 100 million tonnes of raw plutonium.
"The tragic experience of the people of Japan reminds us of the grave dangers nuclear power presents. The Sellafield plant in particular presents a major threat to the lives, health and wellbeing of citizens in Ireland. The Irish government needs to engage in a significant international campaign to exert pressure on the British government to close Sellafield." ENDS