McGrady hits out at 'insulting' Sellafield remarks

South Down MP Eddie McGrady has hit out at "insulting" comments made by UK energy minister, Brian Wilson about health scares regarding Sellafield.

Mr Wilson, critical of constant "scare stories" about the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant, recently said he "reaches for the sick bag" every time he hears reports about clusters of Down Syndrome cases in Ireland because of the stations nuclear waste risks.

Mr McGrady described the minister's comments as "insulting".

However, Mr Wilson defended his remarks and said that so-called knowledge of the plant's risk's were contentious.

He added: "What I was saying was, let's have better informed dialogue about Sellafield but leave the emotive stuff out of it, particularly that claim, which doesn't have a leg to stand on."

Meanwhile, former SDLP leader John Hume has written to Prime Minister Tony Blair to express his concern over the findings of the Marine Monitoring Report published this month by the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland.

Mr Hume said the Institute’s report shows that Sellafield continues to be the main source of artificial radioactivity in the Irish Sea.

He added: "The ongoing existence of Sellafield is a great concern to the people of Ireland. Not only is there a proven exposure to radiation caused by discharge of contaminants into the Irish Sea but there are consequential problems such as the impact upon the marketability of seafood caught in waters around our island.

“These problems have been compounded by the increased possibility of terrorist attack on high-profile nuclear installations like Sellafield which would have unimaginable consequences for the people of Ireland and beyond."

Mr Hume said he had called on Mr Blair to give serious consideration to the matter and that it was now time for the Sellafield operation to be shut down permanently.


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