[Sinn Fein]

24th June 2002

Concern over nuclear cargo

Morgan supports protest flotilla

Sinn Fein TD for Louth, Arthur Morgan called on the government and ordinary people to continue protesting against the transportation of deadly nuclear fuels through the Irish Sea. Deputy Morgan described the history of Britain's nuclear industry as a series of ``accidents and incidents''. The County Louth TD said:

``The recent report by Heather Dickinson and Louise Parker from the North of England Children's Cancer Research Unit at the University of Newcastle which indicates that there were increased risks of cancer in areas surrounding Sellafield, is a timely reminder of the threat posed to Ireland by Britain's nuclear industry. Even as this report is being published a shipment of extremely radioactive material is being returned from Japan to the Sellafield processing plant. This deadly cargo contains enough plutonium to create 50 nuclear bombs.

``The reason it is being returned is because staff at British Nuclear Fuels Limited admitted to faking the materials safety records in the first place. Something the Japanese government described as `deplorable'.

``The history of Britain's nuclear industry is a shameful one of accidents and incidents. It is only by chance that we have not suffered the consequences of a major accident at its plant on the Irish Sea.

``Again the Government must stand firm and join with other countries, especially those along the 18,000 mile route this cargo is travelling, and demand an end to the trading and transportation of extremely volatile and hazardous radioactive material.

``I would commend all those ordinary people and groups who have spearheaded the campaigns for a nuclear free environment over the years and offer my wholehearted support and encouragement to those who are planning to launch a flotilla of small boats to protest as the ships carrying the radioactive cargo enter the Irish Sea later this summer.''

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