Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on the Environment Niall Collins TD has reacted with dismay to the news that the British Government is actively considering Sellafield as the site for development of a next generation nuclear plant, despite assurances from Minister Phil Hogan in March that he had met with British Minister Chris Huhne and had properly explained Ireland’s concerns about this site.
 
He commented, “It would appear that Minister Hogan was totally ignored on the Sellafield issue.  With much fanfare, he came back from a meeting in Hungary at the end of March and told us that he had spoken directly to Minister Chris Huhne and made it clear to him that Ireland’s absolute opposition to Sellafield remained strong, despite the arrival of Fine Gael and Labour in Government.
 
“Now, just a few weeks later, it emerges that the British Government is actively considering building an additional nuclear power plant beside the existing controversial site in Cumbria, just 61 miles from Dun Laoghaire.  Either Minister Hogan was talking up his meeting and exaggerating his directness, or he simply failed to make Ireland’s case effectively.
 
“Through all the positive developments with the British Government down the years, they were always clear on one thing – Fianna Fáil’s opposition to the continued existence of this facility on our doorstep was absolute and unshakable.  The fact that just months after the arrival of a new Irish Government the British would publish plans to build another nuclear facility on the site is deeply disturbing.
 
“I am calling on Minister Hogan to lift the phone to his counterpart Chris Huhne MP and express the deep opposition and anger of the Irish people towards this new development.”