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Government must pursue British over BNFL Sellafield cover up

30 June, 2005

Sinn  Féin  spokesperson  on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Arthur  Morgan  T.D.   has  said the  failure of BNFL personnel to report a
significant leak at the Sellafield plant was symptomatic of the “culture of
cover-up,  hiding,  deceit  and lying that has been endemic within BNFL for
many years ”.

Deputy Morgan said

“The fact that personnel at BNFL did not report a huge leak of thousands of
litres  of  highly  radioactive  liquid,  as  required  by both British and
International regulation, is not surprising.

“A  culture  of  cover-up, hiding, deceit and lying has been endemic within
BNFL  for many years now. On each occasion that they have been caught-out (
and there have been many) BNFL usually tell us it will not happen again. On
this  occasion, the leak continued for approximately nine months. BNFL knew
there  was  something wrong, but said nothing, attributing the problem to a
calculation error.

“What  is  most  worrying  about  this  latest fiasco, is that this problem
occurred  in  new  equipment, which was designed by the top nuclear experts
available. And it completely failed.  The new system of reporting incidents
to  the  RPII is simply not working, nor can it work while BNFL continue to
ignore all the rules. This situation is unacceptable.

“The  Minister  for  Environment,  Heritage and Local Government Dick Roche
should  immediately convene a roundtable conference of all those opposed to
Sellafield,  including  representatives of the Nordic Countries, to plan an
effective  campaign in opposition to this death plant.  Minister Roche must
also   raise   this   particularly   worrying  incident  with  the  British
Government”.  ENDS

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