10/06/2003

Irish Government begin Sellafield proceedings

Irish Minister for the Environment, Martin Cullen has described his Government’s legal action relating to the Sellalfield plant as “an action to protect Ireland’s interests”.

The Minister was speaking in advance of today's action by the Irish Government to close the nuclear processing plant under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Irish ministers, including SDLP South Down MP Eddie McGrady, are concerned about claims that radioactive discharge from the Cumbrian plant is polluting the Irish Sea.

Minister Cullen said: “The case was taken when the strongly held objections of the Irish Government to the commissioning of this plant, conveyed many times and over many years to the UK, were disregarded. We regret that our concerns were rejected and that we were required to take these steps to protect Ireland’s interests”.

The hearings, which begin today and lasting three weeks, will take place before a five-member tribunal.

(MB)

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