Brid-Smith-2a-241x300People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, accused the Government and Minister Dennis Naughton of dangerous inaction after recent revelations over the safety of the Sellafield nuclear facility. Deputy Smith said the Minister’s statement that they are seeking a meeting of the “UK-Ireland Contact Group on Radiological Matters” was farcical considering the seriousness of the recent revelations.
Deputy Smith said that recent revelations highlighted by a wistleblower on the BBC’s Panorama program, only confirmed longstanding fears from campaigners about the site. “There is a long history of scares, radioactive leaks, near misses and unsafe practices at this site. The recent revelations confirm the British Government’s own National Audit Office complaint from 2012 about the management of 50 year old storage ponds. We were told then it was being sorted just as we are being reassured now. The Government’s attitude is incomprehensible considering the potential disaster that awaits if a fire or accident were to happen.”
Deputy Smith added that instead of a low level group of experts meeting to receive the same assurances yet again; “I would urge Minister Naughton to seek a meeting with his British counterpart and tell them we want the site closed in the longer term and an immediate stop to MOX reprocessing there. We also want assurances that staffing levels will never be compromised or the infrastructure allowed to fall into disrepair due to costs,  and more importantly that we  want a role in the safety oversight at the Sellafield complex.”
Deputy Smith said the Panorama revelations showed that nuclear power could never be a sustainable solution to energy needs, “The costs of cleaning up and the potential catastrophic consequences for ourselves and most of Western Europe from an accident show how foolish reliance on nuclear power is and always will be. If it weren’t for its historical links to the nuclear arms industry, nuclear power would never have been pushed as a real alternative. If we invested the money wasted on this industry in real sustainable and renewable energy we could really tackle climate change.”