Page last updated at 21:23 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Sellafield turns away BNP leader

Nick Griffin
Nick Griffin has been offered a meeting away from the Sellafield site

BNP leader Nick Griffin has been refused permission to visit the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria on security grounds.

Mr Griffin said he wanted to visit the site, which sits within his North West European Parliament constituency, because he is pro-nuclear power.

But Sellafield Limited, which operates the site, said it was concerned about security and possible demonstrations.

Mr Griffin said the decision prevented him from doing his job as an MEP.

The BNP leader sits on the European Parliament's environment committee and in that capacity asked to visit Sellafield.

But the nuclear plant refused, claiming it could cause "an unnecessary distraction" and be a safety risk.

'Open and transparent'

Mr Griffin said he wanted to tour Sellafield as part of his MEP duties and because he is against wind farms.

A statement from Sellafield Limited said: "He has expressed an interest in various aspects of the site's operations. We have offered to meet Mr Griffin and his team off site to discuss this in full, in accordance with our policy of being open and transparent with all stakeholders.

"Safety is our number one value at Sellafield and we were concerned that an on site visit by Mr Griffin and his team could cause an unnecessary distraction, with the potential for this to have a detrimental effect on safety."

A BNP spokesman hit out at the decision, saying that if on-site security could not cope with Mr Griffin's visit then Sellafield had "serious problems".

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