By Vivion Kilfeather
THE campaign to close Sellafield
moved up a gear yesterday when it emerged that radioactive
substances were found in ground samples at the gate of the complex.
The leak is believed to have come from waste storage tanks built
more than 40 years ago.
National chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Billy
Fitzpatrick said it was the latest in a string of mistakes, many of
which British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) had attempted to cover up.
The Irish Sea had long been established as the most radioactive
in the world and pollution will only end when the plant is shut
down, he warned.
He was speaking after it emerged that Radioactive Technetium 99
has been found in the ground and in ground water samples taken from
beside the main gate of the Sellafield complex.
British Nuclear Installation Inspectors (NII) say the discovery
appears to confirm that the radioactive waste reached the area
beside the gate entrance to the plant as well as outside it.
While a BNFL spokesman claimed the material is not much more than
background radiation which poses no public health risk, British
nuclear expert John Large warned that the plant should never have
been allowed to deteriorate to such an extent.
Mr Fitzpatrick said anti nuclear campaigners were very buoyed by
the belated support from the Government and believed the postal
campaign was critical and would pay dividends as it was well
An Post is providing more than 1.3 million post cards to the
public which are selling at 1 each and will be delivered to the
Prime Minister Tony Blair, the head of British Nuclear Fuels Norman
Askew and Prince Charles.
The cards are available Post offices, Superquinn, Dunnes Stores,
Centra, SuperValu, Champion Sports, Marathon Sports, Wagamamas,
Captain America and Nude Restaurants.
An Post has promised to deliver the cards free of charge to
coincide with the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and all
profits are going to the Chernobyl Children's Project.