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24 Apr 2006

RTE's new TV drama documentary, Fallout, the second part of which screens tonight on RTE 1 at 9.30pm is a timely reminder of the risk of nuclear accidents.

Ireland depends on the British Authorities for safety information on Sellafield and despite a new information sharing arrangement the track record is not good. This time last year it was revealed that a major leak went undetected for nine months as the discrepancies showing up on the monitoring systems were regarded as too large to be credible! While the Irish government was told of the leak in April they weren't made aware of the size of it until a month later. Thankfully in that case the leak was contained inside the plant and did not escape into the atmosphere.

Friends of the Earth would have even less confidence in the safety regime if the British government presses ahead with its plan to privatize Sellafield leaving us in Ireland at one more remove from the information vital to emergency preparedness and response. The only lasting solution is to ensure Sellafield is shutdown as soon as possible.

In this regard it is essential the UK does not go down the road of building new nuclear power stations in response to the looming energy crunch, something we understand Tony Blair favours as an outcome of the British government's energy review currently underway. Friends of the Earth is part of a European campaign to prevent a nuclear revival and you can take online action to support that effort to mobilize "One Million Europeans Against Nuclear Power" here. In Britain Friends of the Earth is campaigning hard against new nuclear build. Read why they don't think the UK needs more nuclear here.


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