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Thursday, 7th February 2019

Politicians respond to nuclear waste disposal revelations

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Drogheda Life's report published yesterday that the British Government was investigating the possibility of disposing of Nuclear waste in the Mourne Mountains/ Slieve Gullion area just North of the border has drawn comment from local representatives.

First out of the traps was Senator Ged Nash who said: “This absolutely beggars belief…. The agency responsible has described the area as having all of the attributes of a ‘geological disposal site’. This is a euphemism for a nuclear dump.

“The health, environmental and security fears associates with such a site should be plain for all to see.

“I appeal to the government to oppose any such moves and I am pleased that the Leader of the House, Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, agrees that the government should oppose any such facility of this nature.”

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Sinn Fein TD Gerry Adams wrote to the Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton TD asking if the government is aware of or was consulted about a proposal by the British state’s Radioactive Waste Management group to store waste nuclear material deep underground in the Mournes and Slieve Gullion area.

“The Irish government must ensure that the British government knows that it will not tolerate any nuclear waste facility being constructed on the island of Ireland” he said.

“Currently Britain has what Greenpeace has described as “one of the largest and most complex nuclear waste problems in the world.” It’s nuclear waste legacy has been made dramatically more dangerous and expensive by its decades long plutonium reprocessing program based at Sellafield”.

“Irish citizens living along the east coast have long been aware of the significant risk to people and the environment as a result of decades of accumulation of hazardous waste at Sellafield, much of it stored in outdated nuclear facilities.

“While the Nuclear Waste Management group cannot at this stage construct a nuclear dump in the Mournes or South Armagh without local agreement, that may not always be the case.

Fianna Fáill TD for Louth, Declan Breathnach, said that any proposals made by the UK Government to use the Newry and Mourne area as a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) for nuclear and chemical waste, are totally unacceptable to the communities on both sides of the border. 

"Both the Mourne Mountains and the Ring of Gullion, designated areas of outstanding natural beauty, have been cited by the Waste Management Group as possible sites in which to sink nuclear waste. 

"Let me say in no uncertain terms, this will not be acceptable to me or to the people of Louth who regularly travel the half hour drive across the border to visit these magnificent sites. The potential health ramifications let alone the consequences for the wider environment don’t bare thinking of", concluded Deputy Breathnach”.

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