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Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Dounreay Report: Danger from Nuclear Waste Remains

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

“Several Hundred Thousands” Particles Discharged

Commenting on today’s report from the Dounreay Particles Advisory Group, Green Highlands & Islands MSP Eleanor Scott, said, “This is further evidence, if that were needed, that Scotland’s nuclear power experiment must be consigned to history.  The blunders of the past will have public health implications for decades to come, and the impact on the environment, which has not even been assessed, will surely be significant.

“Dounreay is of course now striving to be an example of best practice in decommissioning.  The future for the site is for it to become an international centre of excellence in decommissioning, ensuring that the nuclear power legacy – highly toxic waste – is managed in the safest and most responsible way possible.  Political leaders, especially Labour politicians in Westminster and Holyrood, also need to make safe and responsible decisions by choosing to not build a new generation of nuclear power stations and by fully backing the renewable energy industry.”

Key points from the Executive Summary of today’s report include:

  • several hundred thousands particles have been discharged (paragraph 4)
  • more particles may still be discharged from site sources including the Shaft and Old Diffuser (paragraph 10)
  • most of those already discharged are concentrated within a 1km radius of the Old Diffuser (pars 13 and 14)
  • significant, relevant and minor particles remain on nearby beaches (pars 19 and 20)
  • waste at Dounreay Foreshore still extremely dangerous in public health terms (par 21)
  • particles will be washed up on local beaches for decades to come

Greens argue that nuclear power:

  • is unsafe
  • is uneconomic
  • is unsustainable
  • is not a solution to climate change
  • produces highly radioactive toxic waste
  • creates terrorist targets
  • is unnecessary.

For more on the report see http://www.sepa.org.uk/radioactivity/dpag/3rd_report.htm