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de Brún welcomes British recognition that nuclear power is not viable in Six Counties

11 July, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed Peter Hain's recognition that nuclear power stations would not be built in the Six Counties.

Ms de Brún made her comments before the British Government was expected to begin planning for a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain, following its energy review.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"I am pleased to hear that the British Government has decided against building nuclear power stations in the North. The British Government knows that the people of Ireland would not tolerate the building of a nuclear power plant here, nor would they countenance the expansion plans for Britain's nuclear strategy. Furthermore, the logic of the Good Friday Agreement is that the British Government will not commit themselves to massive fiscal commitments lasting 30 to 40 years when in real terms their jurisdiction will have ended long before then.

"Whilst it is welcome news that the British Government has stated that it will not be building nuclear plants in Ireland, I am concerned that a new wave of plants will spring up across Britain, endangering civilian populations in England, Scotland, Wales and the Eastern Irish seaboard. We only have to look at the litany of safety lapse and incompetence at the Sellafield plant in North West England to see that nuclear energy is both high risk and unpredictable.

"Sinn Féin is in favour of a nuclear free Ireland. We should be seeking to decommission existing nuclear facilities, not be building more of them. We favour a shift towards efficient and cost-effective renewable energy with a particular emphasis on solar and wind power." ENDS

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