[Sinn Fein]

8th July 2003

Sinn Fein TD calls for closure of French nuclear reprocessing plant

Sinn Fein spokesperson on the Environment and anti-Sellafield campaigner Arthur Morgan T.D. has travelled to France in an attempt the link the nuclear reprocessing plant, COGEMA La Hague, with the campaign to have Sellafield shut down.

Speaking from France, the Louth Sinn Fein T.D. said

``COGEMA La Hague in North West France has been contributing to the contamination of our coastline with radioactive material since it entered service in 1966, in the same way that radioactive emissions from Sellafield has been contaminating the Nordic countries. It is clear that even if Sellafield was closed COGEMA La Hague would represent a continuing threat to our people's health. For this reason I have travelled to France to see at first hand the monster that is the source of the pollution.

``With 5,500 employees COGEMA La Hague is a much lager plant than Sellafield yet people in Ireland have very little awareness of the risks that this nuclear reprocessing plant poses to their health. I have come here to highlight those dangers and in attempt the broaden the anti-Sellafield campaign to include the closure of COGEMA La Hague.

``Officials here play down the dangers posed by the plant in much the same way as those at Sellafield, however they have admitted to me that they don't know what is going to happen to the waste they have produced.

``I am particularly concerned that a waste pipe from this plant goes 4 km out into the sea, posing serious dangers particularly to the South East Coast of Ireland.

``The Government must recognise the dangers from this reprocessing plant in North West France and target it as well as Sellafield''.

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