Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Irish tell Scots to end their nuclear age

As the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster is being marked across the world, the General Secretary of the Irish Green Party (which has six members of parliament and 29 councillors across Ireland) is today handing in a petition to the Scottish Parliament concerning its potential backing for building new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

The Irish Government has been trying to stop Sellafield from polluting the Irish sea for decades, through the European courts, and the prospect of more nuclear power stations in Scotland is seen as increasing the threat to the people and environment of Ireland.

Scottish Greens will also announce new campaign plans to 'resist the nuclear menace' and release new information which Greens say dispels the myths and disinformation promoted by the nuclear lobby.

A photocall and interviews took place outside the public entrance at 11am with an extra-large 'nuclear power: not needed, not wanted' symbol, and the Irish petition will be officially handed in to parliament.

The petition said: "The petitioner requests that the Scottish Parliament investigates the impact of the building and operation of new nuclear power stations in Scotland on neighbouring countries including Ireland, particularly with respect to radioactive pollution, nuclear accident and on the development of renewable energy technologies and that the Parliament makes these impacts known to the Scottish Executive in advance of any decision to allow new nuclear power stations to be built."

The petitioners drew attention to 'Nuclear Power: What you Need To Know' information leaflet.

Among the myths are that the lights are about to go out and that renewable energy can't meet our needs. This despite there being massive renewable energy resources in Scotland, estimated to be able to power Scotland many times over and huge potential for greater energy efficiency.

Nuclear lobbyists regularly claim nuclear energy will tackle climate change but in fact will do the opposite - high levels of fossil fuels are required in mining, processing, transport and construction - never mind cost of nuclear reducing investment in alternatives.

Another common myth is that new nuclear reactors will only produce 10% of the waste of the old ones - when in fact CORWM, the government's own advisers, have admitted that the increase in high level waste is more than 300% and that the total amount of radioactivity is even higher than that.

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