‘Concerns over burying radioactive waste not a perception problem’ – Ritchie

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Friday, August 28th, 2015
The SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has raised concerns over plans to recommend that burying nuclear waste is safe. Margaret RitchieA public information campaign is due to be launched in September, the first since Cumbria Council rejected a bid in 2013. Ritchie said, “This campaign orchestrated by nuclear lobbyists is based on findings from a group of people who say 30% of the land in England and Wales is suitable for burying radioactive waste up to 1000m below ground. “Those behind it say the plans – which are estimated at £12bn – are hindered by a ‘nuclear perception problem’. Rather I would say the problem is that there is pressure to develop a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley, before a solution has been devised for how to deal with the highly hazardous waste we already have. “The UK already has enough nuclear waste to fill Wembley Stadium four times over,” she continued. “Most is stored at surface level in Sellafield and this alone is very alarming. I have frequently raised concerns over safety breaches here which demonstrate how no storage or processing plant can ever be completely safe. “It is a concern that people in the east of Ireland have to live with on a daily basis. We have a moral and ethical responsibility to dispose of this waste we already have. Ritchie added, “We know Sellafield is not the long-term answer. Therefore I continue to urge the Government to recognise the dangers of proceeding with a new generation of nuclear power plants.”
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