Ritchie chairs Commemorative Lecture of Fukushima and Chernobyl
SDLP MP for South Down has chaired an event in Westminster organised by a number of nuclear policy stakeholders to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Fukushima nuclear disaster and the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Ms Ritchie voiced her concern about the implications of British nuclear policy for South Down and Northern Ireland.
Ms Ritchie said:
“I was honoured to welcome Mr Naoto Kan, who was Prime Minister of Japan at the time of the tragic Fukushima disaster, to Westminster as the key note speaker of the event and to hear his unique insight into the disaster and energy policy. The lessons Mr Kan shared about nuclear safety, disaster preparedness and response are invaluable.”
“The resounding message from today’s event was the need for nuclear policy that prioritises the health and safety of people in the UK and Ireland. South Down is a mere 65 miles away from the Sellafield nuclear site across the Irish Sea. The transportation of nuclear waste up and down the Irish sea for re-processing at Sellafield and the storing of hazardous waste at the site pose risks to the people in the surrounding areas and the wildlife environment. I am also deeply concerned by the inordinate delays in the decommissioning of the site as well as the proposal for a new build at Moortown beside Sellafield. All of this is at a time when we should making a concerted effort to move towards renewable, green energy.”
“Today’s event proved invaluable in raising awareness around the risks and dangers nuclear energy poses and should send a clear message to the Government and all interested parties.”