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UN Committee finds 'profound suspicion of non-compliance' over UK nuclear plant
Thursday March 20, 2014 23:28 by Friends of Irish Environment admin at friendsoftheirishenvironment dot org Tel & Fax: 353 (0)27 74771
PRESS RELEASE - 20 MARCH 2014
FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT - PRESS RELEASE - 20 MARCH 2014
A United Nations Committee has found there is a 'profound suspicion of non-compliance' over the United Kingdom's failure to undertake trans-boundary consultations for the construction of a new nuclear plant in Somerset, England.
The investigation has been undertaken by the Implementation Committee of the United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context [Espoo].
Simulation of a radioactive leak of Cesium from Hinkley Point B
The Chair of the Implementation Committee, Vesna Kolar Planinsic, has written to the United Kingdom Government after a formal hearing last September in Geneva. The letter has been copied to the Irish NGO Friends of the Irish Environment, who lodged a formal complaint to the Committee in March 2013 along with Sylvia Kotting-uhl, a member of the Gwerman Bunderstagg.
The letter cites the Convention's primary aims as to 'prevent, reduce, and control significant adverse transboundary impact from proposed activities'. 'Even a low likelihood of such an impact should trigger the obligation to notify affected parties', the Committee has told the UK Government. They have been invited in accordance with the Treaty to 'present information and opinions on the matter under consideration' at their next meeting on 9 - 11 December, 2014.
'The United Kingdom did not consult with any of the states which might 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". This Convention requires that the opportunity provided to the public of potentially affected Parties is 'equivalent to that provided to the public of the Party of origin', FIE Director Tony Lowes said.
In the event of a continuing dispute between the parties, the matter will go before the International Court of Justice.
The UK High Court is due to hear an appeal on 27 March by An Taisce, the Irish national trust, against the refusal of the UK Courts to allow a Judicial Review of its Government's decision not to consult with neighbouring states.
Contact: Tony Lowes 027 74771 / 087 2176316
Read the letter
Read the FIE Complaint
Contact: Tony Lowes 027 74771 / 087 2176316
Irish Radiological Institute
Irish Radiological Institute concluded that 'severe radiological effects in
Ireland are unlikely as a result of building new nuclear power plants in the
UK, but a socio-economic impact will be seen in the event of a very severe
accident," according to Dr Ann McGarry, Chief Executive of the RPII.
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. In the case of the most severe accident scenario examined in the
study, short-term measures such as sheltering would also be required. In
none of the scenarios evaluated was evacuation found to be an appropriate
Depositions higher than ca. 650 Bq/m2 trigger radiological protection measures. This example results in deposition in the south of Ireland higher than 10 000 Bq/m2
Friends of the Irish Environment is a non-profit company limited by guarantee registered in Ireland.
It is a member of the European Environmental Bureau and the Irish Environmental Network.
Registered Office: Kilcatherine, Eyeries, Co Cork, Ireland. Company No. 326985.
Directors: Caroline Lewis, Tony Lowes