Ritchie addresses nuclear conference

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Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has addressed the annual meeting of Nuclear Free Local Authorities in Dundalk. Margaret RitchieritchRitchie raised the issue of nuclear submarines in the Irish Sea and the dangers of the Conservative Government’s ‘obsession’ with nuclear energy. She said, “Communities along the east coast of Ireland know all too well the dangers associated with reliance on nuclear technology. We have suffered the fallout when things go wrong and it’s therefore imperative that we continue to press for the government to abandon its fixation with nuclear energy at all costs. “From the rush to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent, little more than a Cold War relic, at a cost of up to £100 Billon to the charm offensive on the Chinese Government to invest billions more in the Hinkley Point station, the British Government is intent on creating a nuclear juggernaut,” she insisted. “This is all money that could be better spent on health, education and pursuing clean renewable technologies. All of this has led to increased transport of nuclear material in and around the Irish Sea. That is a significant cause for concern for coastal communities here. “We saw only a few months ago that the fishing vessel Karen was snagged and dragged off the Ardglass coast by a submarine. While the MOD denied all knowledge, we now know that it was indeed a Royal Navy vessel. This nuclear expansionism is posing a real threat to our coastal communities. Ritchie added, “I will be pursuing all of these issues at Westminster with the relevant government departments. I am giving a voice to coastal communities across Ireland, we will not become a dumping ground for British Nuclear ambitions.”
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