Sinn Féin - On Your Side

British Government discredited over Sellafield safety

3 September, 2004

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has welcomed the European Commission decision to initiate legal proceedings in the European Court of Justice against the British Government, for their failure to comply with strict EU inspection rules on nuclear waste.

Ms McDonald said that the legal action was "a small victory for those who oppose the unsafe nuclear cesspit at Sellafield".

Speaking this morning, Ms McDonald said:

"The legal action to be taken by the European Commission against the British Government owned Sellafield nuclear facility should provide the catalyst for the permanent closure of the plant.

"For years the British Government have ignored the overwhelming evidence that the nuclear plant on the west coast of England had become a nuclear dumping ground, thus endangering the lives and surrounding environs of the eastern Irish seaboard. When EU inspectors went to survey a pond at the plant (B30) they were unable to gain access to it due to high levels of radiation and poor visibility levels.

"This decision by the European Commission to take legal action against the British over Sellafield's safety should be a major embarrassment for the British Government. It was revealed a number of days ago that up to 10,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste had been buried 50 miles from Ireland, on the west coast of Britain. However, past experiences tell us that the British Government are adept at ignoring international rulings.

"This morning's European Commission decision represents a small victory for those tireless campaigners on both sides of the Irish sea, who oppose the unsafe nuclear cesspit at Sellafield. There is now a major onus on the Irish Government to relentlessly challenge the British Government, to pressure and pursue the closure of the most dangerous and unstable nuclear facility in Western Europe." ENDS

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