• March 6, 2010

The Isle of Man parliament is to be asked to adopt a forceful serious of policies which will reaffirm and extend opposition to the Sellafield reprocessing plant.

The Manx Environment Minister, John Shimmin MHK, will table a seven part resolution which will confirm opposition to reprocessing at the current plant, oppose the siting of a geological waste disposal facility, oppose transportation to and from the site and oppose the building of new nuclear facilities.

The Celtic League which has opposed operations at the Sellafield site (and other nuclear facilities around the Irish Sea and in the Celtic countries) welcomes the robust statement from the Manx government.

The League particularly notes the intention of the Manx government to work with other jurisdictions and organisations which oppose the new British nuclear plan for the site. We believe that such an approach will maximise opposition to the UK nuclear programme.

An understandable focus on the British nuclear power station new-build programme has distracted attention from the equally dangerous policies of geological disposal and the transportation associated with this. The Manx initiative is therefore doubly helpful in reminding opponents of the nuclear industry of these potentially hazardous spin-offs from the earlier phase of UK nuclear expansion.

The text of the resolution to be moved at the March 16th sitting of Tynwald is set out below:

“Amendment of Policy in relation to Sellafield to include opposition to the geological disposal of nuclear waste in West Cumbria –

The Minister for Local Government and the Environment to move –

That Tynwald recognises that the well-being of Isle of Man residents is wholly dependent on the Isle of Man’s clean and safe environment, and views any radioactive pollution of the environment whether by accidental or authorised release as presenting a danger to the environment and economic interests of the Isle of Man; and that Tynwald therefore –

a) reaffirms its policy of wishing to see the complete closure of Sellafield;

b) is firmly opposed to the operation of any nuclear facility which is the source of radioactive pollution and in particular the nuclear fuel reprocessing plants at Sellafield;

c) gives qualified support to the UK Government’s efforts to remove redundant nuclear facilities, but requires that any resulting short term increases in radioactive emissions must comply with international regulatory requirements and therefore have no radiological impact on the Isle of Man;

d) is strongly opposed to the transportation through the Irish Sea of any nuclear cargo connected with reprocessing activities at Sellafield, other than for the repatriation of foreign nuclear materials already on site;

e) is opposed to underground (geological) disposal of nuclear waste in West Cumbria, until and unless Tynwald is convinced that an underground repository is safe and presents no identifiable danger to the Isle of Man population, environment or economy;

f) is opposed to any new nuclear facility in the UK which will use nuclear fuel reprocessing at Sellafield and requires the Minister for Local Government and the Environment to examine all proposals concerning the development of new nuclear power stations in the UK; and

g) requires the Isle of Man Government to work with other jurisdictions and organisations which have similar objectives and requests the Chief Minister to inform the UK Government of this resolution.”

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