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UN QUESTIONS IRELAND OVER UK HINCKLY NUCLEAR PLANT

….“The first time many Irish people learned about the nuclear power plant proposal was when the decision was announced.”….

Press Release
Friends of the Irish Environment
20 October 2013

http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.net/index.php?do=friendswork&action=view&id=1096

H/T http://inagist.com/all/392033489857822721/

UN QUESTIONS IRELAND OVER UK NUCLEAR PLANT

Ireland has received a letter from the United Nation’s seeking information about Irish public consultation over the proposed UK nuclear plant at Hinckley Point in Somerset.

Under UN ‘ESPOO Convention’ on transboundary environmental impact assessment the UK Government formally notified Ireland of its proposal. Ireland in turn was then required to ‘provide an opportunity to the public in areas likely to be affected to participate in the relevant EIA procedures regarding proposed activities equivalent to that provided to the public of the Party of origin’.

The nuclear Plant, which will be the first of its kind built since the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident n 1986, is intended to supply 7% of England’s electricity needs and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It will cost $22 billion and employ 5,000 people in construction.

The Committee had received complaints from members of the Austrian and German Parliaments and from the Irish environmental NGO [non–governmental organisation] Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE] about the failure to consult citizens in their member states.

At it the 28th session, held in Geneva on 12 September, the Committee accepted the three complaints and wrote to all three Governments seeking copies of the correspondence between the three states and the United Kingdom.

FIE Director Tony Lowes explained that ‘The United Kingdom concluded that no neighbouring state would be affected by a nuclear accident at the plant on the grounds that “the likely impacts determined through a thorough EIA do not extend beyond the county of Somerset and the Severn Estuary”.’

‘While the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan stated in a written Parliamentary Reply on 16 April 2013 that Ireland was notified in early 2012 of the proposed development at Hinkley Point, the Irish Government failed to consult with the Irish public as required under this international convention.’

Minister Hogan commissioned the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland [RPII] to examine the issue for the Government. The Report detailed the undeniable impact which a serious nuclear accident in Somerset could have on Irish agriculture.

‘Food controls and agricultural protective measures would be required if any of these accidents occurred to ensure that food on sale in Ireland was safe to eat,’ the RPII Report stated. ‘In the case of the most severe accident scenario examined in the study, short–term measures such as sheltering would also be required.’

‘The issue here is not anti or pro nuclear – simply the right to be consulted,’ said Tony Lowes.

According to the letters received by Ireland from the UN Committee and published on the FIE website, the United Kingdom and the three Governments are required to provide their correspondence and assessment of the risks by 25 November for a meeting on 10 December, 2013.

ENDS

Verification and comment: Tony Lowes 027 74771 / 087 2176316

Correspondence from UN
http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.net/cmsfiles/Library/Espoo-Hinkley-Point-request-from-Committee.pdf

FIE Complaint
http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.net/cmsfiles/Library/Espoo-complaint-and-supplementary-25.03.13.pdf

Simulations showing impact of accident on Ireland [from the Austrian Government]
http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.net/cmsfiles/Library/Hinkley-Point-B-map.pdf

Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland Report
http://www.rpii.ie/RPII/files/e8/e8fd1b92-0f67-415a-a37a-d4cb97023eb0.pdf

Updates      ;

https://nuclear-news.net/2013/07/11/artificial-radionuclides-in-the-irish-sea-from-sellafield-increasing-levels-in-northern-ireland-and-scotland/

UN asked Ireland about UK nuclear risk

Britain’s energy secretary Ed Davey MP: An Taisce is challenging the  legality of the permission he granted for a new nuclear power station in Somerset. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC via Getty Images.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/un-asked-ireland-about-uk-nuclear-risk-1.1567394

Britain’s energy secretary Ed Davey MP: An Taisce is challenging the legality of the permission he granted for a new nuclear power station in Somerset. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC via Getty Images.

The Government has been asked by the United Nations whether it has considered the risks that will be created for Ireland by the construction and operation of a new multibillion euro nuclear power station in England.

A deal on the construction of the €16 billion Hinkley Point in Somerset – backed by €100 billion in subsidies over 35 years from the British taxpayer – will be signed today.

However, the British government did not consult with the Irish Government over the “transboundary” risks from nuclear power before it granted approval earlier this year.

UN committee
The UN’s Implementation Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context wrote to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government earlier this month.

Irish officials were asked to confirm whether the British government had contacted Dublin in advance about the plans and whether the Irish Government had responded.

“Does the Government of Ireland consider that the proposed development at Hinkley Point C is likely to cause significant adverse transboundary impact on the territory of Ireland,” the UN committee asked.

Meanwhile, a judicial review taken by An Taisce against the nuclear plant – the first plant to be commissioned since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan – will be heard in the High Court in London in December.

Legality
The legality of the permission granted by the British energy secretary, Liberal Democrat Ed Davey, will form the central pillar of the case being taken by London solicitors Leigh Day on behalf of An Taisce.

The nuclear plant – which would supply five per cent of the UK’s energy needs if built – would lie just 150 miles from the Irish coastline, An Taisce will tell the High Court.

Denying that the judicial review is a PR stunt that has little chance of success, An Taisce told the Observer that, as a charity, it had to carefully weigh up the risks before deciding to take legal action.

“Despite the nuclear power plant being nearer to the coast of Ireland than it is to Leeds, the UK decided not to consult with the Irish public about the decision before it granted consent in March,” it said. “The first time many Irish people learned about the nuclear power plant proposal was when the decision was announced.”

October 20, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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