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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 07:00 GMT 08:00 UK
Irish fears over Sellafield waste
Stored nuclear waste at Sellafield in Cumbria is one of the biggest threats to the Irish people, it is claimed.

In a debate in the Irish Parliament, the UK Government was criticised over plans to sell off Sellafield operator British Nuclear Group.

Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said nuclear disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl showed the destructive potential of nuclear power.

He said Sellafield was a "real danger to life" on the island.

Irish Environment Minister Dick Roche said: "I wish to stress here that the government will continue to hold the UK responsible and accountable for the operation of the Sellafield complex."

'Early closure'

The Irish Government is awaiting a final decision from the European Court of Justice to see if it can resume international legal action against the UK Government over Sellafield.

Mr Roche said: "We will continue to pursue all legal and diplomatic options to secure its safe and early closure."

Irish Labour Party member Emmet Stagg said the storage tanks at Sellafield, which contained radioactive material, were the greatest threat to the Irish people.

The recently established Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has estimated the cost of cleaning up Britain's nuclear assets at about 70bn.

A long-term solution on how to deal with stored waste at Sellafield and at nearby Drigg has yet to be made.

Ireland to inspect nuclear plant
10 Dec 04 |  Cumbria
Bid to allay Sellafield concerns
26 Mar 04 |  Cumbria

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