IT would be wrong to shut down the Sellafield nuclear plant
without official evidence to back up claims it was dangerous,
the British Prime Minister said in the Commons yesterday,
writes Joe Churcher.
Mr Blair played down safety fears after last week's mass
postcard campaign from Irish protesters demanding closure of
the complex in Cumbria.
At question time former SDLP leader John Hume said the
protest, spearheaded by the wife of U2 pop singer Bono, was
the largest correspondence on one issue received by any
British Prime Minister.
He asked: "Are you prepared to take steps to remove those
Mr Blair told him: "I am aware of the concern that is
expressed. However, the Sellafield plant, and indeed any other
plant in this country, is subject to the strictest, not just
national, but international standards.
"Those standards are regularly reviewed. The plants
themselves are regularly inspected and these inspections have
never found there is a problem such as that alleged in parts
of the press and amongst other political parties.
"I think it would be wrong to close down nuclear facilities
if there wasn't sufficient evidence to back the closures."