Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (259)

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

259. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the contact that has been made with the British Government and his views on a recent consultation in Britain with proposals that would see a part of the island of Ireland being used to dispose of nuclear waste; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5100/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

There are presently no plans to site a geological waste facility for radioactive or nuclear waste on the island of Ireland.   Following previous unsuccessful attempts to identify a long-term geological waste facility, the United Kingdom's Department of for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a consultation paper on how to better engage and represent communities across England and Northern Ireland in any future process to consider siting a geological waste facility.  The consultation paper notes that “the process to identify and select a site for a geological disposal facility requires detailed technical work that is estimated to take around 15 to 20 years”.  The paper further points out that any future proposals on the siting of such a facility in Northern Ireland would be subject to planning decisions made by the Northern Ireland Administration. The United Kingdom-Ireland Contact Group on Radiological Matters, comprising officials from UK and Irish Government Departments and scientific Agencies responsible for ensuring radiological safety, meet biannually to discuss matters of interest to both parties, including existing and planned installations, transport of radiological materials, and long-term strategies to safely store radiological and nuclear waste. Ireland will engage on this matter through this Group and continue to monitor developments in this area.