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Bairbre de Brún to tell EU conference that Sellafield is most discredited nuclear facility in Western Europe

19 May, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP will tomorrow address a European conference on Sellafield and tell participants that ‘it remains the most discredited nuclear facility in all of Western Europe’. Ms de Brún made her comments as the Sinn Féin European department prepares to hold a half day conference entitled “Sellafield  –  Still  a  Danger”  on Saturday 20th May ’06 in the Fairways Hotel, Dublin Road, Dundalk from 10am to 1.30pm.

Among the speakers who will be taking part in the conference are Mr Lennart Varmby, Board Member Swedish Energy Agency, Cllr George Regan, Scottish Vice-chair Nuclear Free Local Authorities, member of Dundee City Council (Scottish Labour) and Ms Rea Street, Vice Chairperson, CND Britain.


Speaking on the eve of the conference Ms de Brún said:


“It is deeply ironic that as we prepare to gather for a conference to highlight the dangers of Sellafield and plan for its closure, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair is putting nuclear power back onto the agenda with plans to build a new generation of nuclear plants across Britain.


“The British Government cannot even safely control their current stock of nuclear facilities and it seems ludicrous that Tony Blair can tell us that nuclear is back on the agenda “with a vengeance.” Sellafield in Cumbria, North Western England remains the most discredited nuclear facility in Western Europe. Over this past number of years there has been a litany of safety lapses which would embarrass even Homer Simpson.


“In recent years an annual audit (2004) of nuclear material at the Sellafield plant revealed that 30 kilograms of plutonium remain unaccounted for. That same year the European Commission initiated legal proceedings against the British Government for its failure to comply with EU inspection rules on nuclear waste. When EU inspectors went to survey a pond at the plant they were unable to gain access to it due to high levels of radiation and poor visibility.


“This facility needs to be shut down immediately. Were a more serious incident to occur, the ramifications for Ireland and much of Britain would be catastrophic. Tomorrows conference provides us with an opportunity to build a sustained campaign against Sellafield.” ENDS


Note to Editor:


Bairbre De Brún, MEP will chair the session “Why Sellafield Must Close” and Arthur Morgan TD will chair the session “How to organise for the closure of Sellafied”. Other speakers will include Caitriona Ruane MLA for South Down and Louth County Councillor Tomás Sharkey.

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