Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Ceisteanna (200)

Thomas P. Broughan


200. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department submitted an observation as part of the public consultation for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18288/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Ireland enjoys a close working relationship with the United Kingdom on radiological matters through a UK-Ireland Contact Group which meets biannually. The most recent meeting, held in Dublin on April 18, was attended by officials from my Department, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United Kingdom's Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Office for Nuclear Regulation, and National Decommissioning Authority, in addition to officials from the Isle of Man administration.

  The UK's new nuclear build programme, including Hinkley Point C, is a standing agenda item at these meetings. This engagement informed the publication of the 2013 EPA report on proposed nuclear power plants in the UK and the potential radiological implications for Ireland, which found that the routine operation of the proposed nuclear power plants, including Hinkley Point C, will have no measurable radiological impact on Ireland or the Irish marine environment. This report continues to inform Irish engagement on the UK new nuclear build programme. Senior officials from my Department and the EPA also visited the Hinkley Point C site in October 2017 to learn more about the project.

  Through this process officials from my Department and the EPA have the opportunity to raise issues of concern directly with the UK at both a policy and technical level, and on that basis, my Department has not submitted an observation as part of the public consultation for the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. However, the EPA has submitted observations to the consultation.