September 2006

by Maria Daly

People living in Athlone could face compulsary resettlement if a Chernobyl-like nuclear explosion was to happen in the Welsh nuclear power plant of Wylfa. The new fallout maps were created for a conference by the Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities Forum (NFLA). The conference will take place in the D Hotel, Drogheda, on Saturday September 30. The conference will be hosted by Cllr Michael O’Dowd and will cover such issues as the health consequences for Ireland of a major nuclear accident. Speakers on the day will include Pete Roche who is a nuclear policy consultant, Dylan Morgan of People Against Wylfa B, and Rite Holmes who is a member of the Hunterston Site Stakeholder Group. The British government are currently looking at the possiblility of building a nuclear power plant at either Wylfa in Wales, Hunterston in Scotland, or Sellafield in England. If there was a nuclear fallout in any of the proposed sites and south easterly winds were prevailing, Athlone and the Midlands would be under serious threat of contamination. The NFLA has released a map which shows the fallout area that would follow an accident at the nuclear reactor in Wylfa if easterly winds carried fallout across to Ireland. Large areas of central and southern Ireland would become so contaminated that there would be cause for evacuation. The NFLA has based its maps on the fallout from the Chernobyl reactor accident which happened some 20 years ago. more

OSLO, Norway (CNN/AP) — A nuclear leak forced the shutdown of a small Norwegian research reactor on Saturday, but the radiation was contained, officials said. more