SDLP Leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has said the ongoing nuclear situation in Japan provides compelling evidence that the British Government needs to carry out a safety review at all nuclear plants in Britain, particularly Sellafield, which is built on a geological fault-line.
Ms Ritchie said, “We have all been deeply saddened and shocked at the misery heaped on Japan and its people over the past ten days. This is truly an emergency of international proportions and requires global world aid.
”The British Government should take note about the safety precautions around its own nuclear power plants, particularly Sellafield which is the world’s radioactive materials reprocessing plant.
“The Japanese nuclear incident points to the vulnerability of nuclear power if a natural disaster were to happen. The British government must change its policy and stop plans for the construction of further nuclear plants for fear of a similiar natural disaster, and the potential impact on the local environment, the lives of people and the general way of life.
”We must resort to renewable technologies. I have never believed in the argument for nuclear power to replace fossil fuels. The developments of the past week have shown that.
”I will continue to pressurise the British government to avert the construction of further nuclear reactors and plants through my role at Westminster. This week’s devastating events have shown to the world the dangers nuclear power poses.”
Down News understands that in the Irish Sea area, at least nine nuclear power stations are earmarked to be built in the not-so-distant future as an altenative to the rising costs and environmnetal impacts of fossil fules such as oil and coal.
American’s Anxious Over Japanese Nuclear Reactors
CLOSER to Japan, Americans particularly on the west coast are getting very edgy as the nuclear crisis in Japan continues to cause serious concern. There is a growing clamour in America for a close re-examination of nuclear installations across the country and already many Americans have ben flooding to their local shops buying up iodine capsules to try and protect them from the possible effects of radioacivity should the cloud spread from Japan. The iodine helps the thyroid gland to fight the potentially lethal radioactivity in the body.
There are fears that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is the federal authority with the responsibility to oversee safety and licensing of the privately owned nuclear plants, is not strict enough in its protection and monitoring regime. Also, when there have been leeks some claim it has been too lenient in issuing penalties.
A recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is an environmental safety group, has revealed a number of alleged serious flaws in safety by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC manages plants and has according to the Union has been guilty of a number of significant transgressions such as at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in New York where NRC inspectors apparently permitted leaking water to continue for 15 years despite documentation of the problem. The water was kept on the nuclear site and authorities say it is ‘safe’.
Another such incident at Calvert Cliffs plant in Maryland was recorded when a roof had been openly leaking for eight years and two reactors were shut down after an electrical short occured.
COULD IT HAPPEN HERE IN THE UK?