23 Nov 2001
Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth will now take their battle to stop
the MOX plant at Sellafield to the Court of Appeal. The move follows
last week's ruling by Mr Justice Collins that the Government hadn't
acted unlawfully in giving the highly controversial plutonium fuel plant
the green light. The Appeal will be heard on 27 and 28 November.
Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace will argue that the costs of building a new nuclear
plant must be taken into account when calculating whether a new practice is
economically justified. The Government and BNFL had argued that the costs of
construction should normally be included in the calculations, but if they had already
been spent they should be treated as irrelevant. In a suprising and controversial
judgement, Mr Justice Collins decided that because such costs would vary from site to
site they should never be included in such calculations.
As a result of the Judge's reasoning BNFL could apply for authorisation for a new
practice stating that it would generate a net future income of say 100 million. The
practice would be treated as economically justified even if it required building a 300
million plant, and would therefore in reality lose 200 million.
The MOX plant faces a number of other legal challenges. On Monday 3 December the
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea [ITLOS] is expected to rule on an
application from the Irish Government for an injunction to prevent the MOX plant going
ahead before ITLOS has had the opportunity to consider the case fully.
Friends of the Earth
26-28 Underwood St.
Tel: 020 7490 1555
Fax: 020 7490 0881