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Morgan - Closure of Thorp plant long overdue

26 August, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D. has welcomed reports that the Thorp nuclear reprocessing plant is to close by 2010.

Deputy Morgan said

"Firstly it must be said that the Thorp plant should never have opened. Whereas I welcome reports in this morning's newspapers that the Thorp Nuclear Plant is to close by 2010 we need to hear confirmation of this from the British Government. We also need to see details in relation to what actions are to be taken in relation to all other activity at the Sellafield site, which has caused almost an epidemic of cancer on the East coast of Ireland generally and in Louth in particular.

"A change in direction by the British government has been signalled since the recent publication of the British White Paper on Nuclear Energy. Since Blair overruled then Energy Secretary Brian Wilson's plan for 20 new nuclear plants people on both sides of the Irish Sea have been hopeful for movement towards the closure of the Thorp plant.

"Hopefully this will also mean an end to the transportation of nuclear waste trough the Irish sea for storage at the BNFL site which now represents a huge nuclear waste dump.

"Because we could never believe a word BNFL said it is important that neither the Government of this State nor the Irish people should in any way lessen their campaign for the closure of all operations in Sellafield." ENDS

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