Smells a bit radioactive

A tribunal in the Hague has rejected the Irish Government’s suggestion that the UK’s decision to manufacture MOX fuel at the Sellafield nuclear plant has been taken without due concern for the environment.

Commenting on the tribunal’s decision, UK Energy Minister Stephen Timms said that ‘even on Ireland’s own evidence, there is no scientific basis to the accusations Ireland has made about pollution and no justification for taking such extraordinary legal action’.

‘We want to work constructively with Ireland on Sellafield. If there have been failures or misunderstandings in the past, let us correct them. We share the objectives of ensuring that facilities at Sellafield are managed safely, effectively and with due regard for the environment,’ he added.

Clearly, there are still those that disagree with the position of the UK minister, however. Today, for example, Greenpeace reported that ‘radioactive waste’ from Sellafield has been found in Scottish farmed salmon sold in major British supermarkets. Tests commissioned by Greenpeace revealed traces of radioactive waste in packets of fresh and smoked salmon.

The tests, conducted independently by Southampton University’s oceanography centre, found low levels Technetium-99 (Tc-99), a byproduct of Magnox fuel reprocessing, in farmed Scottish salmon sold at Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Safeway, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

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