03 Oct 2001
The Government's decision to allow BNFL to start operations at the controversial plutonium plant at Sellafield may be unlawful, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace warned today. The groups are seeking urgent legal advice following today's go-ahead for the mixed oxide (MOX) plant.
The MOX plant, completed in 1996, was intended to turn spent plutonium and uranium into usable fuel. However, following financial concerns, and in the wake of the MOX data falsification incident,the commercial go-ahead for the plant was witheld. Under EU law, the Government must be able to show - amongst other things - that the economic benefits of the plant outweigh the health and environmental detriments.
FOE and Greenpeace believe that today's decision by the departments of environment and health is unlawful because:
Charles Secrett, Director at Friends of the Earth, said:
It's outrageous that the Government thinks it can get away with using Alice in Wonderland economics to justify giving this MOX plant the go-ahead. This is a political decision which doesn't make economic or environmental sense. We believe it is also unlawful. The Government may be forced to defend its actions in court.
Friends of the Earth also slammed the decision to proceed with MOX following last month's terrorist attacks in the US.
Charles Secrett continued:
It beggars belief that the Government can give the go-ahead to a process involving the use and transportation of plutonium that could be used to make weapons.. Producing MOX at Sellafield will make the world a less safe place. Yesterday, Tony Blair talked of the need for international action to build a safer global community. Today his Government does the reverse. This isn't joined-up Government. It's unhinged Government.
Friends of the Earth
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