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Will Ireland follow the example of Britain, and declare an “environmental and climate emergency”.

Irish Times 6th May 2019 In the quagmire of Brexit there is little to commend the UK government’s approach. This is in stark contrast with its clarity and leadership on climate change. It is the first national parliament to declare an “environmental and climate emergency”.

It has not only committed to “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the climate change committee in Westminster has set out how this can be achieved. Net zero means, in effect, eliminating its carbon footprint in a dramatically transformed economy built on sustainability with a near absence of fossil fuels.

Ireland has some way to go before it could commit to such a course, but a Government report due in the coming weeks must show a similar level of intent, and include a roadmap to reduce the shocking levels of Irish emissions. Declaring an emergency may seem like tokenism but it injects urgency into consideration of the best course to take. Wicklow County
Council was the first Irish local authority to declare a “biodiversity and climate change emergency”.

The Government should endorse a similar vote in our national parliament and introduce binding legislation on
revised targets.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/the-irish-times-view-on-tackling-climate-change-pull-the-emergency-cord-1.3881910

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May 7, 2019 Posted by | climate change, Ireland | Leave a comment

Irish Council opposes dumping of UK’s nuclear waste in any part of Ireland

Councillors back motion to oppose dumping of nuclear waste, The Impartial Reporter, 18th March A motion to oppose the dumping of any toxic waste in any part of Ireland was passed unanimously by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, however it was not without some political wrangling between Sinn Féin and the DUP.

The motion proposed by Sinn Fein’s John Feely states the Council’s opposition who said that the “dumping of nuclear waste has dire consequences for our environment and also poses a serious health risk to the population”.

Councillor Feely said the geological screening for geological disposal facilities for nuclear waste raised a number of questions such as about how much radiation would reach the surface and water sources.

He added that the proposals by the British Government showed once again “the complete and total disregard” it has for the citizens of “Fermanagh and Omagh, the North of Ireland and all its people”.

Councillor Barry Doherty seconded the motion saying everybody had obligation to ensure future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the area in the same way that people do today and Ireland should not turn into anyone’s dumping ground……..

Councillor Alex Baird said the UUP were happy to support the motion with an amendment to stop anybody dumping toxic waste in Northern Ireland.

Councillors, Shields, McAnespy and Deehan all welcomed the motion, with Councillor Deehan describing the prospect of a disposal facility for nuclear waste in the country as “chilling”…….. https://www.impartialreporter.com/news/17495254.councillors-back-motion-to-oppose-dumping-of-nuclear-waste/

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Ireland, politics international, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Ireland’s Radiation scrutiny now transfers to HIQA 

Radiation scrutiny now transfers to HIQA  Jhttps://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/Top-Stories/radiation-scrutiny-transfers-to-hiqa/

13 Feb 19, Last month’s transposition of European Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM into Irish law means that HIQA is now responsible for regulating medical exposure to ionising radiation.

The new law covers dental x-rays, hospital CT scans, mammograms and radiotherapy received as part of cancer treatment.

Treatment

A medical exposure to ionising radiation is when a patient receives ionising radiation as part of their diagnosis or treatment.

The transposition into Irish law confers new statutory functions on HIQA under the EU’s (Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Dangers Arising from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018 SI No. 256.

HIQA’s John Tuffy said: “Generally the risks associated with receiving medical exposure to ionising radiation can be considered very low.

“However, as procedures that involve ionising radiation carry varying levels of risk dependent on the dose given, it is important that all radiation doses are kept as low as practically possible.

Vital

“It is vital that patients are only exposed when the benefits of receiving the exposure outweigh the risks.”

“The new legislation has given HIQA regulatory powers to ensure that appropriate processes are in place to protect patients in public and private healthcare facilities for the first time.”

Last month’s transposition of European Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM into Irish law means that HIQA is now responsible for regulating medical exposure to ionising radiation.

The new law covers dental x-rays, hospital CT scans, mammograms and radiotherapy received as part of cancer treatment.

Treatment

A medical exposure to ionising radiation is when a patient receives ionising radiation as part of their diagnosis or treatment.

The transposition into Irish law confers new statutory functions on HIQA under the EU’s (Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Dangers Arising from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018 SI No. 256.

HIQA’s John Tuffy said: “Generally the risks associated with receiving medical exposure to ionising radiation can be considered very low.

“However, as procedures that involve ionising radiation carry varying levels of risk dependent on the dose given, it is important that all radiation doses are kept as low as practically possible.

Vital

“It is vital that patients are only exposed when the benefits of receiving the exposure outweigh the risks.”

“The new legislation has given HIQA regulatory powers to ensure that appropriate processes are in place to protect patients in public and private healthcare facilities for the first time.”   

Last month’s transposition of European Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM into Irish law means that HIQA is now responsible for regulating medical exposure to ionising radiation.

The new law covers dental x-rays, hospital CT scans, mammograms and radiotherapy received as part of cancer treatment.

Treatment

A medical exposure to ionising radiation is when a patient receives ionising radiation as part of their diagnosis or treatment.

The transposition into Irish law confers new statutory functions on HIQA under the EU’s (Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Dangers Arising from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018 SI No. 256.

HIQA’s John Tuffy said: “Generally the risks associated with receiving medical exposure to ionising radiation can be considered very low.

“However, as procedures that involve ionising radiation carry varying levels of risk dependent on the dose given, it is important that all radiation doses are kept as low as practically possible.

Vital

“It is vital that patients are only exposed when the benefits of receiving the exposure outweigh the risks.”

“The new legislation has given HIQA regulatory powers to ensure that appropriate processes are in place to protect patients in public and private healthcare facilities for the first time.”

Last month’s transposition of European Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM into Irish law means that HIQA is now responsible for regulating medical exposure to ionising radiation.

The new law covers dental x-rays, hospital CT scans, mammograms and radiotherapy received as part of cancer treatment.

Treatment

A medical exposure to ionising radiation is when a patient receives ionising radiation as part of their diagnosis or treatment.

The transposition into Irish law confers new statutory functions on HIQA under the EU’s (Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Dangers Arising from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018 SI No. 256.

HIQA’s John Tuffy said: “Generally the risks associated with receiving medical exposure to ionising radiation can be considered very low.

“However, as procedures that involve ionising radiation carry varying levels of risk dependent on the dose given, it is important that all radiation doses are kept as low as practically possible.

Vital

“It is vital that patients are only exposed when the benefits of receiving the exposure outweigh the risks.”

“The new legislation has given HIQA regulatory powers to ensure that appropriate processes are in place to protect patients in public and private healthcare facilities for the first time.”

February 14, 2019 Posted by | Ireland, radiation | Leave a comment

‘Plutonium-fuelled ‘madness” – the idea of Britain’s nuclear waste transported for burial in Northern Ireland

 

‘Plutonium-fuelled madness, 8 February 2019 

Moving away from Brexit, The Daily Mirror says fears are mounting across Northern Ireland that tourist hotspots may be turned into a “dumping ground” for nuclear waste. It says spots across Northern Ireland, including the Mourne Mountains, the Causeway Glens, the Sperrins and Lough Neagh are being examined by a government firm hoping to find a permanent place for the UK’s radioactive material.

Shauna Corr reports that thousands have signed a petition against a Geological Disposal Facility in the Mournes, while Newry Mourne and Down Council has voted to write to Westminster saying it will never consent to a site in the area.

Friends of the Earth’s Declan Allison tells the paper: “We’ve heard some terrible ideas before but this is plutonium-fuelled madness.

“Shipping radioactive waste across the Irish Sea, then driving it along country roads, to store underground for hundreds of thousands of years sounds like a plan conceived in a radiation-addled brain.” https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-47168189

February 9, 2019 Posted by | Ireland, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Carlingford Lough dredging proposal could bring “nuclear material” into bay,

Campaigners claim Carlingford Lough dredging proposal could bring “nuclear material” into bay, The Irish News,  John Monaghan, 07 October, 2018 CAMPAIGNERS on both sides of the border are objecting to plans to deposit dredged material within Carlingford Lough, claiming it would bring nuclear substances into the bay.

Warrenpoint Port is proposing moving the placing of material collected during its regular dredging – carried out in order to maintain clear access for vessels – from 16 miles out at sea to within the lough.

The port has earmarked a site between Greencastle and Cranfield for the plans.

The Carlingford Ferry crosses close to the proposed zone, from Greencastle in Co Down to Greenore in Co Louth.

Christine Gibson, from Greencastle Keep It Green, said: “We have major concerns about the nuclear and radioactive substances in the lough and how this is going to be dredged and dumped at Greencastle – which is a designated site for its wildlife and natural assets.”

“We are concerned about coastal erosion and how it will affect our air and water quality,” she told the BBC………

Biologist Breffni Martin believes the plan is linked to Brexit.

“The thinking could be that, after Brexit, the European designations could disappear.

“It is hard to understand given the protections that are there, why Warrenpoint would go ahead with this, because in a European framework it seems unlikely that it would be approved,” he added. https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2018/10/07/news/campaigners-claim-carlingford-lough-dredging-proposal-could-bring-nuclear-material-into-bay-1452231/

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Ireland, wastes | Leave a comment

‘Vague assurances’ to Ireland on post-Brexit nuclear safety ‘not worth much’

‘Vague assurances’ on post-Brexit nuclear safety ‘not worth much’

Fianna Fáil expresses concerns about Britain’s capacity to maintain standards, Brian Hutton 

June 20, 2018 Posted by | Ireland, politics international, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Frustration and anger: Irish groups concerned at UK govt’s plans for nuclear reactors all too close to densely populated Irish East coast

This has been a lone battle’: Frustration at government approach to nuclear plant plans in UK http://www.thejournal.ie/hinkley-c-power-plant-3988366-May2018/

An Oireachtas committee is planning to write a submission to UK authorities to express its concern.

AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE will express its concerns to UK authorities about plans to build a new power plant on the west coast of England as environmental experts here claim the government has failed to consider the possible consequences for Ireland.

Attracta Uí Bhroin, of the Irish Environmental Network told the Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government that her intention was not to panic people or cause unnecessary concern, but her organisation wants to ensure Irish people’s rights are upheld.

Although the process for the new nuclear site at Hinckley Point in England, which is 250km from the coast of Ireland, began five years ago, it was only in 2016 that the news about the plans broke.

Hinkley Point C was given the final investment approval by French energy giant EDF, which has a two-thirds share and which is building the plant in conjunction with a Chinese company.

Speaking to TDs and senators today, Uí Broin pointed out that of the eight power plants the UK has planned as part of its energy expansion, “five are on the west coast of the UK, facing Ireland on the most densely populated east coast”.

Some of these plants are planned in locations closer than Hinkley Point C.

The potential economic impact of a nuclear leak or meltdown could be very serious, she explained. A 2016 ESRI report considered a scenario where there was a nuclear incident, but with no radioactive contamination reaching Ireland.

“Even then they estimated that impact economically could be in the order of €4 billion,” she said, explaining that an incident such as this would have serious implications for the agrifood and tourism industries in Ireland.

In the event of an incident where there is a risk of contamination, she said there are no detailed plans in place to protect Irish people, the water supply, or the country’s farm animals and produce.

“Not only would you not have fodder, you would not have livestock. You are talking about the national herd.”

She explained that the UK had made two screening determinations as part of its assessment process ahead of construction.

“There are serious questions about the adequacy of the assessment of impacts on Ireland in particular and the complacency of Ireland in respect of that assessment.”

Despite the fact that Ireland is the nearest state to the plant, Uí Bhroin said it was “entirely omitted” from the severe accident assessment.

She pointed out that other countries like Austria, Denmark and Germany had pushed back and insisted on being consulted and included in the assessment process.

Uí Bhroin was joined by Professors John Sweeney and Steve Thomas, who outlined some of the specific concerns around safety assessment and treatment of waste.

Sweeney was critical of the models used in risk assessments – some older models were used in calculations, for example, despite the fact that more modern ones exist.

Thomas spoke about some of the parts of the plant which are being made in France and which French regulatory authorities will not a clear for use in French nuclear plants.

Uí Bhroin said there was an “extraordinary level of frustration, anger and disappointment” among environmental groups at the government’s reaction to these plans.

“This has been a lone battle by Irish ENGOs [Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations],” she told the committee. She also said there had been a “lack of support and expertise from Irish bodies”.

Responding to the evidence from the witnesses, Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan said she was concerned about what impact the committee could have at this late stage.

“We are here not very late in the day.”

The public consultation deadline for the plans is 11 May.

May 2, 2018 Posted by | Ireland, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Concern raised by Kilkenny County Council over proximity to Hinkley Point nuclear power plant

Kilkenny People 23rd April 2018, Kilkenny County Council’s ‘concern’ over Hinkley Point nuclear power
expansion. Local councillors last week agreed to write a ‘statement of
concern’ regarding the expansion of the nuclear power plant at Hinkley
Point in Somerset, England.

Cllr Malcolm Noonan and Tomas Breathnach raised
the matter at the monthly meeting of Kilkenny County Council. Cllr Noonan
noted that Tuesday was the cut-off for submissions, in what he described as
a ‘very limited’ consultation process.

He requested members write a statement of concern. Cllr Tomas Breathnach said that the power station is
located 250km from the south-east of Ireland, and that the consultation
process now in place was not there during the initial planning process in 2013.
https://www.kilkennypeople.ie/news/home/309266/kilkenny-county-council-s-concerns-over-hinkley-point-nuclear-power-expansion.html

April 27, 2018 Posted by | Ireland, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Irish Government ‘dozing at wheel’ over UK nuclear power plans

Irish Times 29th March 2018, Irish Government and public urged to comment on Hinkley facility before April
17th. The UK’s nuclear power expansion programme, including the building
of the Hinkley Point C facility in Somerset, poses an unacceptable risk to
the island of Ireland, according to an alliance of political parties and
environmental groups.

Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan said the
Government “has been dozing at the wheel… and essentially failed the
Irish people because we have not had timely opportunity to be consulted”
about Hinkley, which is located less than 250km from south east Ireland.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin, she said the UK government was
found to have failed to consult neighbouring states under the UN Espoo
Convention. After a five-year legal battle, in which Irish environmental
groups – An Taisce, Friends of the Irish Environment and the
Environmental Pillar – fought to uphold the rights of the Irish public,
“a long overdue consultation” began on February 20th. “People can
make their submissions to their relevant local authority. We strongly
encourage them to do so before April 17th.” https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/government-dozing-at-wheel-over-uk-nuclear-power-plans-1.3445065

April 2, 2018 Posted by | Ireland, politics | Leave a comment

Belated consultation with Ireland about Hinkley nuclear plant – may help Ireland to fight other UK nuclear plans

Irish Examiner 21st Feb 2018, Yesterday’s announcement of a public consultation on the UK’s planned
Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, less than 250km from Rosslare is, to
a degree, reassuring but entirely welcome.

It is a victory of sorts for campaigners who worked tirelessly to have Irish voices heard in the
process. Those groups insist our Government should have opened a
consultation five years ago as is required under international conventions.

The victory may seem facile as construction is under way at Hinkley, a
€23bn project expected to be operational in five years.

The real value of the decision is that it means Irish concerns may influence decisions around
the other five nuclear plants in Britain’s planning pipeline. This
recognition will be especially important in post-Brexit Britain as the writ
of EU nuclear administrators will no longer prevail.
https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/ourview/nuclear-consultation-irish-concerns-will-be-heard-828994.html

February 22, 2018 Posted by | Ireland, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Under UN conventions the peoples of neighbouring countries that could be affected by a nuclear project need to be consulted.

An Taisce 20th Feb 2018, An Taisce Welcomes Public Consultation UK Hinkley Point C, Nuclear Power
Plant. The (Irish) Government has today launched public consultations on the UK’s Hinkley Point C, nuclear power station, 5 years after it should have under UN Conventions.

The UK Government is building a nuclear power station, Hinkley Point C, on the north coast of Somerset, some 150 miles
(~242 km) from Ireland’s East Coast. Charles Stanley-Smith, An Taisce’s Communication Officer stated “These consultations have been hard won through court cases and escalation to the compliance committees of two
UNECE conventions on consultation rights and obligations.

This is the hard work of An Taisce, The Environmental Pillar and Friends of the Irish Environment and German MEP Ms Sylivia Kotting-Uhl” He continued “The peoples’ rights to these consultations will become increasingly important
in our ability to address transboundary impacts of UK projects on our environment, health and economy, into the future.

Under UN Conventions, the peoples of neighbouring countries that could be affected by a project need
to be consulted. Post Brexit, we may not be able to rely on EU law to safeguard us, but these are UN conventions For instance, the Irish people will now need to be consulted in terms of any other 5 proposed nuclear
power station on the UK’s west coast”
http://www.antaisce.org/articles/an-taisce-welcomes-public-consultation-uk-hinkley-point-c-nuclear-power-plant

February 22, 2018 Posted by | Ireland, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Diplomatic incident, as Russian nuclear bomber planes fly off west coast of Ireland

Russian nuclear bomber planes fly off west coast of Ireland as British Typhoon fighters scrambled, Irish Independent  Brian O’Reilly and Philip Ryan 30/01/2015 RUSSIAN bomber planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons flew past the west coast of Ireland on Wednesday – forcing Britain to scramble Typhoon fighter jets in response. A diplomatic incident was sparked when Russian Tu-95 ‘Bear’ bomber planes flew past the west coast of Ireland and into the English Channel before turning and going back the same way.

It was reported that the heavily armed aircraft were flying without their transponders – meaning they were invisible to commercial airlines.

Britain scrambled its fighter jets in response – as Ireland is considered to be within its ‘area of interest’ for defence.

The Russian Embassy in Ireland issued a robust defence of the country’s decision to fly bomber jets near Irish airspace.

However the Department of Defence said while the Russian aircraft did not enter Irish sovereign airspace at any time, such non-notified and non-controlled flight activity is not acceptable.

“The Irish authorities will discuss with their UK counterparts how best to seek to resolve this through the International Civil Aviation Organisation,” it said……http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/russian-nuclear-bomber-planes-fly-off-west-coast-of-ireland-as-british-typhoon-fighters-scrambled-30949988.html

January 31, 2015 Posted by | Ireland, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

How wind power from Ireland could power UK

Irish Wind Could Help Power The UK By 2020  http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3412 by Energy Matters, 8 Oct 12 Wind power has the potential to deliver billions of Euros to the Irish economy and unlock thousands of new jobs under a plan to supply the UK with renewable electricity via an undersea “Energy Bridge”. Continue reading

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Ireland, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Ireland to ban uranium use in any weapons

There is persuasive material about long-term health risks to the wider population.

Irish depleted uranium ban bill gets warm reception at second reading, top-u238.blogspot.com 7 marzo 2010 Irish depleted uranium ban bill gets warm reception at second readingIrish depleted uranium ban bill gets warm reception at second reading. Continue reading

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Ireland | , , , , | Leave a comment