still pollution 'threat'
BBC News, 25 May 2003
Original address: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/cumbria/2931322.stm
Radioactive discharge from Cumbria's Sellafield
reprocessing plant continues to be the dominant source of contamination
of the Irish Sea, a report says.
The study, by Ireland's nuclear watchdog, also
found, however, that the level of radioactivity from waste was lower
than that seen in previous decades.
It reassured consumers that eating fish and shellfish
caught in the area did not pose a significant risk.
But Irish politicians expressed concern at the news
that Sellafield remained the main source of contamination.
The Irish Green Party's Ciaran Cuffe said the British
Government should find an alternative way to deal with waste from the
He said that discharging it straight into the Irish
Sea was a "19th Century solution to a modern day problem".
Emmet Stagg, Irish Labour's spokesman on nuclear
safety, said the report by the Radiological Protection Institute of
Ireland reinforced his view that the plant should be closed down.
He said: "The debate over Sellafield has gone
on far too long.
"We know it is a risk, we know the dangers
it poses and we know all about the pollution it spreads into the atmosphere
and the sea."
A spokesman for Irish environment minister Martin
Cullen said the government would still be calling on the Britain to
close the Sellafield reprocessing plant down.
He added: "The report is further evidence -
if it was needed - that reprocessing is a dirty business."
A spokeswoman for BNFL said she welcomed the fact
that there had been a continuing reduction in the amount of discharge
She said: "Even though this was the highest
source of contamination of the Irish Sea the amount is still negligible.
She added that much of the reaction to reports of
this kind was "highly misinformed".
The RPII report was produced after analysing about
300 fish, shellfish, seaweed and water samples from the Irish Sea.