SDLP Leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has written to Environment Minister Alex Attwood asking if he has been consulted on proposals from the British Government to construct new nuclear power stations.
Ms Ritchie has regularly advocated the downsizing of the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria and said the proposals could see increased capacity at the site.
She said, “I have written to the Environment Minister Alex Attwood asking if he has been consulted on the British Government’s proposals to construct new nuclear sites across the UK because this could mean an upgrading of the Sellafield site directly across the Irish Sea in West Cumbria.
“The SDLP has continually called for a review of the site. Sellafield re-processes much of the world’s nuclear waste and there are already huge concerns regarding its safety. The SDLP vigorously opposed the use of an underground nuclear contamination bunker at Sellafield, built only last year at a cost of £118m to store 100 million tonnes of raw plutonium. This followed the damning Redfearn Review.
“Any further proposals to increase nuclear power output in the UK must take into account the concerns of people this side of the Irish Sea with proper input from the Northern Ireland Executive.
“This is not an issue solely for England as any decision regarding Sellafield has a potential ramification for the east coast of Northern Ireland.”