‘Nuclear power continues to threaten public health’ – Ritchie

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Friday, August 23rd, 2013
Politics

SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has said the recent nuclear waste leak at Fukushima is a reminder to the UK government that nuclear power will always pose a threat to the environment and public health.

Ritchie told Newry Times, “It is alarming but not surprising to hear the recent news from Japan where the Fukushima reactor is reported to have suffered another nuclear waste leak.

“We hear that Japanese authorities have upgraded the threat on the seven-point Radiological Event Scale to a level 3 “serious incident” after only yesterday stating the leak was a level 1 “anamoly”.

“There is now a situation where nuclear waste is seeping into the ground and the Nuclear Regulation Authority has been unable to identify the cause of the leak or been able to stem it. We shouldn’t forget that the initial meltdown was on a scale similar to that of Chernobyl and this recent leak is the most serious incident since,” the SDLP MP insisted.

“The recent leak comes on top of the continued leaking of waste into the sea around the plant with radiation around some of the leaks reported to be so high that workers standing just 50 centimetres away would receive five times the annual dose limit for Japanese nuclear workers in just one hour.

Ritchie added, “The UK government needs to sit up and pay attention to this man-made catastrophe before embarking on another round of nuclear subsidies that will continue to put the public at risk.

“While the UK might not face the same threat of earthquakes as Japan, Fukushima is a powerful reminder that not all contingencies can be planned for and that no nuclear site can be made 100 percent safe.”


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