I will be brief as it was unfortunate we could not finish this the other day. I characterise the nuclear industry as humanity's self-destruct button. It is a time-bomb that could go off at any stage. Britain is substantially expanding its nuclear power industry and the nuclear arms industry is a major threat. We are still unsure how to handle the transport and disposal of nuclear waste as it is extraordinarily dangerous. The prospects of any nuclear accident are terrifying.
I wonder about society's amnesia when it comes to disasters such as Three Mile Island, Fukushima, Chernobyl, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It would be terrifying if any of these were repeated and for this reason a dedicated, independent body of experts monitoring nuclear issues on the international stage, in so far as they affect Ireland, is critically important. It is unfortunate that a Bill that aims to ensure greater safety in the nuclear industry at an international level is rolled in with a proposal to liquidate the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland and incorporate it into the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA. I think this threatens the role and independence of the institute and could expose it to resource and staff problems.
It was wrong for these two aspects of the Bill to be rolled together and it is unfortunate the Minister of State refuses to accept compromise amendments proposed by Deputy Catherine Murphy and others with concerns on this. I feel there is no choice but to oppose this Bill, though I agree with some of its provisions. The decision to dissolve the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland into the EPA is a mistake.