Council Backs Move to Raise Nuclear Dumping Permits with UK Government

>> 25 January 2013

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee have backed a call from the SNP to object to the UK Government allowing discharges of radioactive material from its new-build nuclear power stations into the sea.

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The move comes following the committee’s consideration of the annual report from KIMO, an organisation of European coastal local authorities established in 1990 to address the issue of pollution in the North Sea. The KIMO report highlighted that “the UK proposed new nuclear build programme could lead to increased radioactive discharges into the marine environment. In 2011, the UK Government published a commitment to build new nuclear power stations at 8 sites across England and Wales. Permits have already been sought to release radioactive discharges into the marine environment. KIMO International questioned how these discharges could be allowed in light of the OSPAR Treaty commitment of ‘close to zero’ discharges by 2020”.

Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith urged that Aberdeenshire Council object to these proposed discharges given the importance of the fishing industry to the local economy. He was supported by Green councillor Martin Ford (East Garioch) and the committee agreed unanimously with the request.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“It’s incredible that in spite of signing up to a Treaty to reduce the discharge of radioactive waste into the seas, the London Government looks set to allow such materials from their new nuclear power stations to contaminate marine life.

“As we know from the long history of contamination in the Irish Sea from Sellafield which the Irish Government have vehemently opposed, radioactive waste does not respect national boundaries and I’m concerned at the effect this will have on our fishing industry in particular.

“I’m pleased that councilors of all parties backed the call to make our opposition known to the London Government on this issue, which is nothing short of an act of environmental vandalism should it be allowed to happen.”

The KIMO Report can be found here with reference to the nuclear issue on page 6:

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