March 2011

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland has confirmed that it has detected the presence of trace amounts of radioactivity from the Fukushima accident in Ireland, but they are of no public health concern.

The amount of radio-iodine identified is extremely low, is consistent with levels found in other European countries and has no public health implications.


Secretary of State Huhne acknowledged the Irish Government’s concerns and indicated his Government’s continued support for the ongoing constructive engagement between Ireland and the UK on nuclear-related matters.  He also confirmed that the UK will be participating in the development of the proposed ‘stress test’ to ensure that the robustness of the safety arrangements at nuclear facilities, including Sellafield, are challenged and improved where necessary in light of events in Japan. 

emphasis by bhg

Good to see Sellafield not escape a stress test. The tests must be independent of the industry that is well known at covering up large and small accidents.

But while it is good to see Sellafield included (excluded first off because there is no working nuclear power plant there?) The Irish Government in Dublin should be aware that the largest UK reactor in Wylfa Wales is bigger than Sellafield’s old nuclear power plant, is operational and is closer to Ireland’s capital city Dublin than Sellafield is.

The point the Irish Govt. do not seem to get is that the UK site the majority of their sites on their west coast. The coastal position is so they can use the Irish sea to cool down and discharge into. There are 5-6 active sites on the UK’s west coast out of a total of 9 active sites in the UK today (sites not reactors). The UK plan 11 new sites 7 of which are on the UK’s west coast. These points need to be raised, safety is very important but as a neighbour of UK nuclear plants, Ireland should object to the building of these plants and the disproportionality of the sitting of plants on the Irish sea.

Nuclear power is important for the rich because of its links to nuclear weapons.

Britain’s first nuclear plant was Windscale, which opened in 1956.

It was later renamed Sellafield—because the name Windscale was so associated with a 1957 disaster.

Right from the start, the aim was always to produce weapons.

Plutonium was produced there to fuel Britain’s atomic bomb programme.

The problems came fast. A serious fire in a reactor chimney in 1957 released radiation across the surrounding countryside.

At the time it was the world’s worst nuclear accident to date.

From the 1960s, Windscale began reprocessing spent nuclear fuel—which continues to this day in the now named Thorp reprocessing site at Sellafield.

Sellafield still dumps eight million litres of nuclear waste into the sea—every day.

ARTHUR BEESLEY, European Correspondent

THE GOVERNMENT wants forthcoming stress tests on EU nuclear installations to include the Sellafield reprocessing plant in Cumbria, Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte has said.

At a special meeting to discuss the Fukushima nuclear emergency and the turmoil in the Arab world, the EU agreed yesterday that Europe’s 143 reactors should be subject to new safety standards.

Mr Rabbitte told reporters as the meeting broke up that the Government did not detect any resistance by London to the inclusion of Sellafield. “The Irish Government wishes that the stress tests that are going on will include Sellafield,? he said. “I have no reason to believe that there will be resistance. There’s no evidence to that effect.?


via “Europe should realize that it doesn’t take a major earthquake to cause a cooling-related nuclear crisis -about half Europe’s reactors are of particular concern,? said Greenpeace EU nuclear policy adviser Jan Haverkamp. “It remains to be seen whether the stress tests being talked about for nuclear plants will be more than a fig leaf for business-as-usual.?

Irish Times Reports

Meanwhile, the emergency committee that meets in the event of nuclear radiation threats to Ireland has had two informal meetings over the past few days. The full national emergency planning body has not met, however, in response to the ongoing nuclear risk in Japan.

The committee, comprising representatives from Government departments and State agencies, convenes at times of nuclear threat. This is when the National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents takes effect.

The unfolding Japanese nuclear crisis did not represent a significant threat to citizens here however, according to a spokesman from the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland.

“It hasn’t been invoked because there is no risk to Ireland,? he said yesterday.

“There was a mini-meeting on Saturday of a few of the agencies but the full National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents hasn’t been invoked,? the institute spokesman added.

A second informal meeting was held on Monday, he said. This included members of the emergency Response Co-ordinating Committee including representatives from the institute, Met Éireann, the Garda and at least two departments, Environment and Foreign Affairs, he said.

The idea was to keep the channels open and to exchange information on the unfolding events taking place in Japan.

The institute has already issued two statements indicating that the limited radiation releases from Japan were too far away to pose any health risk here.