Friday, 31 January 2014

Elevated Radiation Levels in Sellafield Highlight the Need for it's immediate closure-Brady

Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has said that the British Government must close Sellafield permanently rather than the proposed closure of part of the plant by 2018. He made his calls following news on Friday that non-essential staff at site in Cumbria were asked to stay at home due to elevated radiation levels.

The Sinn Fein councillor said “For years the Sellafield plant has been poisoning the waters around the coastline of Ireland and Britain with radioactive discharges.  This radioactivity is also a source of the rising number of cases of cancer in this region. The news on Friday that staff were asked to stay at home due to elevated radiation levels is alarming and again raises the need for the British Government to close this plant in its entirety and put measures in place which will clean the area up”.

Brady continued “The Thorpe Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield is to close in 2018, but it is little comfort for the people of Wicklow and on the East coast of Ireland who are living beside one of the most radioactive seas in the world. The British government while closing the reprocessing plant have also plans to build a nuclear power plant on the site which will mean continued radio activity for the foreseeable future”.

Councillor Brady went onto say “Sellafield doesn’t have a great safety record and I like the majority of Irish people have no faith in it. In 1957, the worst nuclear disaster in Britain also occurred at the site, when one of the nuclear reactors caught fire releasing radioactive material that spread across the UK and Europe. A 2012 report by the National Audit Office in Britain said some facilities at the 68-year-old site had "deteriorated so much that their contents pose significant risks to people and the environment".

“Sellafield is the largest and most hazardous nuclear site in the UK, and stores enough high and intermediate level radioactive waste to fill 27 Olympic-sized swimming pools and it is estimated the cost of cleaning up the waste at Sellafield could be up to €82billion. I believe Sellafieldis a ticking time bomb that needs to close immediately and the events on Friday just serve to highlight again how precarious nuclear energy is. I am calling on the Irish Government to immediately raise this issue and demand the closure and cleaning up of the entire site”. Concluded Councillor Brady. Ends

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