‘Transport of radioactive waste threatens coastal communities’ – Ritchie

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Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has said that the British Exchequer’s ‘obsession’ with nuclear revenue is threatening the safety of coastal communities in Ireland and across the Irish Sea. Margaret RitchieRitchie’s concerns follow confirmation that ageing ships are to be used to transport highly radioactive High Level Waste from Sellafield to Switzerland across the Irish Sea. Speaking to Newry Times, she said, “The British Exchequer’s narrow minded and singular focus on exploiting nuclear waste for revenue generating purposes is putting coastal communities across the east coast of Ireland, and the west coast of Britain, in danger. “Despite a litany of revelations about the hazardous state of the Sellafield plant, the British Government continues to prioritise revenue returns over the safety of those exposed to risk by ongoing nuclear operations. The local MP continued, “It has now been confirmed that an ageing ship, past the traditional retirement period and having never transported High Level Waste before, is to be used to transport 42 tonnes of waste from Sellafield to Switzerland across the Irish Sea. “That poses very significant concerns to those living in communities which have been affected by nuclear incidents in the past. People need to be assured that public safety is at the forefront of all considerations. Ritchie added, “I have tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister responsible to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to safeguard public health and that coastal communities in Ireland will not be put in needless danger.”
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