Written Answers. - Sellafield Report.


asked the Minister for Energy if he has considered the environmental implications for Ireland of the reported accidents and cover-ups at Sellafield, as outlined earlier this year by the organisationCumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment which gave information covering a ten year period at the plant; whether he has given any consideration to the implications of that report; and the action he has taken arising from it, in the context of environmental safeguards for this country.

It is presumed that the Deputy is referring to allegations published by Greenpeace and CORE in May 1988. Copies of the allegations were provided to my Department by Greenpeace, with a copy of a commentary by Mr. John Large, an independent consultant in the UK. These documents were examined in my Department. The allegations related largely to incidents within Sellafield, worker contamination etc., which did not have environmental implications for Ireland. The history of high levels of radioactive discharges and the number of incidents of one kind or another which take place at Sellafield suggest that the plant is not well managed and therefore the risk of a serious accident is higher than is necessary. It is for these reasons that the Government want the plant to be closed.