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Mary Lou McDonald:Irish waters have become a nuclear corridor

29 September, 2004

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has this morning reacted angrily to reports that two ships carrying weapons-grade plutonium will pass within 80 miles of Ireland tomorrow. She said that "Irish waters have become a nuclear corridor effectively putting the lives of millions of people at risk".

Greenpeace have warned that the ships owned by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd, will carry 140kg of weapons-grade plutonium from the USA, en route to southern France.

Speaking in advance of her departure to Brussels, Ms McDonald said:

"It is only a few weeks since 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 at their Sellafield plant.

"Now it has emerged that these ships will pass within 80 miles of the Cork coast tomorrow, carrying a deadly cargo of plutonium. A recent Greenpeace commissioned report found that if a fire were to occur onboard the ships, it would produce a radioactive cloud over hundreds of square kilometres within hours.

"I am calling upon the Taoiseach and Minister for the Environment to ensure that any future voyages do not pass through Irish waters ˆ this is the very least Irish people should expect." ENDS

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