Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Nuclear power is not the solution to global warming

22 September, 2004

Sinn Fein Environment Spokesperson, South Down Assembly Member Willie Clarke has expressed shock at a speech by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair where he refused to rule out the possibility that a new nuclear building programme might be necessary if Britain is to meet its carbon emission reduction targets.

Mr Clarke said:

"The views expressed by Tony Blair in his recent speech on climate change are very worrying. If this is evidence of the British Government's long-term strategy to tackle global warming then they should go back to the drawing board. For many years Irish people living on the East Coast of Ireland have had to live under the shadow of nuclear catastrophe and Sellafield in particular has been the major source of radioactive pollution in the Irish Sea.

"In the latest incident to occur at the Cumbria based plant workers had to be put on alert after radioactive liquid escaped in one of the main plants that helps to cut radioactive discharges into the sea. A small amount of radioactive liquid was detected around a pump and the plant had to be evacuated. As recently as last month the European Commission began 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.

"Tony Blair's vision of a how to reduce carbon emissions is based on background analysis which looked at some 25 different scenarios for meeting the target of a 60 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.

"It not just irresponsible it is totally is unacceptable that the British Government is looking at reducing carbon emissions through the use of a new nuclear build programme The key priority must be in the production of safe renewable energy and.

"The legacy of Sellafield and similar power stations will last for generations and the emphasis must be placed on phasing out nuclear power as a source of energy. The British Government has ignored the overwhelming evidence that has been amassed over many years that nuclear power plants pose a very real threat to the health and well being of the environment and the general public." ENDS

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