Dáil Éireann - Volume 608 - 25 October, 2005
Written Answers. - Nuclear Safety.
Mr. Cuffe Mr. Cuffe
662. Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will report on the action he has taken in view of the rupture in the sea discharge pipe on 15 September 2005 at the Sellafield nuclear complex; when the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland was informed of the incident; when he was informed of the incident; and the statements he made on the matter and when. [30590/05]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche:On 15 September 2005, British Nuclear Group discovered a small leak in one of the marine discharge pipelines at Sellafield. This particular pipeline is 2.5 km. in length and the leak occurred 500 m. out to sea.
My Department was advised of this incident on 16 September in accordance with the established procedures for the exchange of information in relation to such incidents, which were agreed between Ireland and the United Kingdom in December 2004. The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland was also advised by its UK  regulatory counterpart on that date. The UK Environment Agency and BNG carried out an immediate investigation into this incident during which use of the pipeline was suspended. Ultimately, no radiation abnormalities were detected and the incident was deemed minor with negligible impact. These findings were confirmed by the institute and there were no adverse implications for Ireland.
While this incident was clearly minor in nature, when viewed in conjunction with the major incident at the THORP plant last April, it presents continuing evidence of a facility where safety is being compromised on a regular basis. During my meeting with Mr Alan Johnson MP, UK Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry in London last week, I reiterated that this trend is completely untenable from the Irish Government’s perspective and provides further justification for Irish concerns regarding the threat posed by Sellafield. I remain firmly resolved to continue to pursue every diplomatic and legal route available to me to press for the safe closure of the plant.
Dáil Éireann 608 Written Answers. Nuclear Safety.