12 May 2005 Edition

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Management at Sellafield in "cover-up" mode

Sinn Féin Dáil spokesperson on the Environment, Arthur Morgan, has slammed as unacceptable the three-day delay by BNFL in notifying Irish authorities of a leak of some 20 tonnes of a highly dangerous mixture, containing uranium and plutonium, which occurred at the plant on 18 April. The Louth TD said the delay in notifying Irish authorities confirms that management at Sellafield remain in "cover-up" mode, adding that they would "happily have covered-up this incident, given half a chance".

"Where does this leave the supposed new level of cooperation from BNFL with the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland and what is our government going to do about this total disregard?" asked Morgan.

"We need strong voices from all Government Ministers on this issue, coupled with strong action to hold BNFL to account. This action should include a conference of all groups opposed to Sellafield, including the Nordic countries, who have been much more active on this issue than the Irish government."

News of this latest leak comes as the British Government is reported to be seriously considering the commissioning of a new generation of nuclear power plants.

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