takes tough line over Sellafield
Environment Daily 1087, October 23, 2001
Barely three days into the job, Norway's new environment minister has
identified a long-standing dispute with Britain over radioactive pollution
from the Sellafield nuclear plant as a top priority."I am now in
touch with the ministry of foreign affairs and the office of the attorney
general to examine whether we have grounds in international conventions
and international law to bring a case against the British," Børge
Brende told Dagbladet newspaper today.
"This is an issue of the utmost importance to us," he continued.
"Discharges of the radioactive substance technetium 99 threaten
our food supply. Fish is Norway's second largest export business. We
cannot sit still and watch our coastal areas being polluted."
Calling for a meeting with his UK counterpart, Michael
Meacher, "as soon as possible", Mr Brende also cited the controversial
mixed oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel manufacturing operation at Sellafield
as further cause for concern, particularly as it represented "a
potential terrorist target."
The minister said he hoped to intensify joint Scandinavian pressure
on the issue at a meeting of Nordic ministers in Copenhagen next Tuesday.
His statements, which have been widely reported throughout the region,
follow recent reports that lobsters caught off the Norwegian coast have
registered increased levels of radioactivity.
Follow-up: Dagbladet http://www.dagbladet.no
(in norvegian), tel: +47 22 31 06 00.