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RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE 3RD IRISH AND UK LOCAL AUTHORITIES CONFERENCE ON NUCLEAR HAZARDS

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Resolutions adopted by the 3rd Irish and UK local authorities conference on nuclear hazards - hosted by Down DC at ...
Resolutions adopted by the 3rd Irish and UK local authorities conference on nuclear hazards - hosted by Down DC at Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, Co. Down.

1. End reprocessing at Sellafield

This conference of representatives of local government from the Republic of Ireland and from Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland, supported in its efforts by the Isle of Man Government, the North Sea Commission and KIMO* deeply concerned by:

(i) the continuing impacts on the environment of routine releases from reprocessing at Sellafield;

(ii) the dangers to local and global security created by high level radioactive liquid wastes and the extraction of plutonium;

(iii) the content of recent revelations about operations and working practices of BNFL; and

(iv) associated transport hazards,

A. urges the UK government to direct its wholly-owned company BNFL (a) to end reprocessing and (b) to diversify into operations solely directed at decontamination, waste management, environmental protection and improvement;

B. authorises the conference organisers to convey these views to the prime minister and the secretary of state for trade and industry.

2. Environment Agency (England and Wales) consultation on 'scope and methodology For the full re-examination of the Sellafield authorisations for the disposal of radioactive waste'.

1. This conference of representatives of local government from the Republic of Ireland and from Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland, supported in its efforts by the Isle of Man Government, the North Sea Commission and KIMO:

A. condemns the proposal of the Environment Agency for England and Wales 'not to consider a review of the factors affecting justification on the Sellafield site';

B. considers the rationale for this as spurious and in breach of law, logic, good sense and prior commitment; and

C. authorises the conference organisers to convey these views to the Agency and to the secretary of state for the environment, transport and the regions and to the minister for the environment.

2. Those representatives of local government from the UK condemn the discourtesy shown by the agency to their colleagues from the Republic of Ireland for the agency's failure to consult with local authorities in the republic affected by discharges from Sellafield and authorises the organisers to convey these views to Sir John Harman, chairman of the Environment Agency on their behalf.

3.The storage of liquid high level waste at BNFL Sellafield

This conference of representatives of local government from the Republic of Ireland and from Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland, supported in its efforts by the Isle of Man Government, the North Sea Commission and KIMO:

(a) noting that the storage of highly radioactive liquid waste (HAL)at Sellafield represents one of the world's most dangerous concentrations of high level radioactive waste;

(b) concerned -

(i) that the target set by the UK Nuclear Installations Inspectorate for reduction of HAL by 2015 reflects the needs of the company and not the protection of the public and the environment;

(ii) that the aim is undefined and the date non-binding; and

(iii) that there is every reason to believe that it will not be met;

A. urges the inspectorate, in the interests of public and environmental safety, to direct BNFL to suspend Magnox and THORP reprocessing with immediate effect so as to reduce Highly radioActive Liquid Waste (HAL) stocks at Sellafield to a 'buffer' volume;

B. authorises the conference organisers to forward a copy of this resolution to the secretary of state for trade and industry, the secretary of state for the environment transport and the regions.

TEXT OF LETTER FROM ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE TO THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER:

Dear Prime Minister

Sellafield

We have spent two days discussing the situation at Sellafield. We write to urge you to seek the fullest range of advice on the future of reprocessing at the site. We are concerned, on the basis of recent statements attributed to you, that your advisers may not be making you fully aware of the downside of continued reprocessing operations at the site or the damage that these activities, or the manner of their

management, does to the reputation of the UK and your government.

In our view it is time for a rethink. We ask you for a substantive response and one which takes full account of the need to consider matters from perspectives other than those of BNFL, notwithstanding your Government's ownership and control of that company.

We would be grateful if you would acknowledge and reply to this letter to the chief executive of Down District Council, Newcastle Co.Down, which has hosted our deliberations. He will circulate your reply to each of us and we in turn will report back your reply to our respective councils in the Republic of Ireland and in the UK.

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