The Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk in south-eastern England, recently completed, has already been the subject of the longest public inquiry in the United Kingdom, lasting 340 days. On 12 March 1987, following consideration of the report of the public inquiry, the then UK Secretary of State for Energy gave his consent to the application to construct Sizewell B. At that time our Government formally protested at the plans to proceed with the construction of the plant at Sizewell.
The consultation process referred to by the Deputy related to authorisations which would set limits and controls on radioactive discharges from the plant, particularly liquid waste discharges into the North Sea. The UK Radioactive Substances Act, 1960, requires that before the UK authorities grant such authorisations they should formally seek the views of local authorities and statutory consultees. Our Department was not formally consulted in this instance.
The UK authorities are in no doubt as to the Irish Government's position on nuclear energy matters. Our recent formal submission on THORP set out our general rejection of the nuclear option in the strongest terms.