Department of the Marine
Dublin, Ireland


Dublin, 11 January 1997

The Minister of State at the Department of Marine, Eamon Gilmore, TD, has re-iterated his strong concerns about the shipment of nuclear fuels and urged the International Maritime Organisation to urgently complete its review of Ireland's proposals for a stricter Code to deal with such shipments.

Minister Gilmore said that he had been informed this week by representatives of the Embassies of France, Britain and Japan, that a shipment of high level radioactive material will be leaving Cap le Hague in France on Monday, en route to Japan. The Minister of State has been assured that the vessel will not travel through Irish territorial waters.

The material is being carried in specially designed 100 ton steel containers on board the "Pacific Teal", a purpose built UK registered ship which is jointly owned by the nuclear utilities in Britain (BNFL), France (Cogema) and Japan.

Minister of State Gilmore said: "Ireland has consistently argued that the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) existing Code for the carriage of nuclear materials (INF Code) needs to be strengthened. Our representatives on the Marine safety and the Marine Environment Protection Committees of the IMO have put forward proposals for stricter measures on controlling the shipment of nuclear material. These measures include strict safety standards for the ships and containers, constant tracking of the cargo movements at sea and routine notifications of coastal states through whose waters the ships may pass. The proposals are currently being considered by the IMO and I will continue to press the IMO to have these measures implemented on a mandatory basis at an early date."


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