Irish Government must reject British suggestion of dumping nuclear waste in Ireland – Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has called on the Irish government to condemn the British government consideration of sites across the North to be used as potential dumping grounds for radioactive nuclear waste.
Carthy said: “Reports that the British government are considering sites across the North, including near Newry, as potential spots to store radioactive waste from its nuclear facilities have appalled locals on both sides of the border. The very idea is sickening and utterly unacceptable.
“Nuclear waste is the most toxic substance on the planet. It remains radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years, and during this time, the material poses deadly threats to all human and animal life and the environment in a large area surrounding it. All it takes is for a geological event such an earthquake or tremor, or human error – which has happened in these storage facilities countless times – for the seal on the material to be broken and the surrounding area to be contaminated.
“Clarity in this matter is important as we do not want to cause any unnecessary alarm among communities. At present, this is a not a direct proposal from the British government to dump radioactive waste near Newry or any site in the North.
“What we have seen to date has been the recent publication of a report for the British government from Radioactive Waste Management, a state-owned company, identifying five locations in the North as possible future locations for dumping nuclear waste. This includes an area of granite bedrock near Newry, stretching from Slieve Gullion to the Mourne Mountains.
“But it is important that we send an early, strong and united signal from our communities rejecting outright any possibility of such a development. It is clear from the video released by Radioactive Waste Management that these sites appear to be the preferred options the British government agency is focused on investigating further.
“I welcome the recent cross-party, unanimous vote in the Newry, Mourne and Down council rejecting this possibility from the outset.
“I would encourage other local authorities on both sides of the border to do the same, to send a clear and unmistakable message to the British government that Irish communities across the island absolutely reject this possibility. We need to demand that these sites stop being ‘investigated’ by the Radioactive Waste Management agency as potential storage areas.
“It is also imperative that the Irish government sends a clear message that it will not tolerate a situation in which any part of Ireland is used as a dumping ground for Britain’s toxic, radioactive nuclear waste.”