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Thursday, 14 June, 2001, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
Ireland takes UK to court over Sellafield

The Irish Government says it is taking legal action against Britain over the possible starting-up of a controversial new unit at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant.

The Irish nuclear safety minister Joe Jacob said the unit, designed to process highly toxic mixed-oxide fuel, represented a major hazard, and Ireland was totally opposed to it being commissioned.

He said Ireland is asking an arbitration panel to force Britain to release confidential information on the unit.

It would pursue further action once that has been received.

The Sellafield plant is less than 200km from Dublin. The new unit was completed four years ago but it has not begun operating yet.

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