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New N-plant closer than Sellafield, warn Greens

THE GOVERNMENT is being called on to object to to plans to build a nuclear plant that's closer to Dublin than the controversial Sellafield site.

Engineering giant Hitachi is in the process of buying Horizon Nuclear Power, which has rights to build reactors at Wylfa on Anglesey, North Wales.

The site is only 118km from Dublin, compared to Sellafield's 217km.

Hitachi is also lining up a bid for Oldbury in Gloucestershire from the German firms E.ON and RWE npower.

Hitachi intends to build between two and three nuclear plants at each site.

Cllr Malcolm Noonan, the Green Party's spokesperson on the environment, said the State should "become more proactive in objecting".

"Ireland is a non-nuclear country," he said.

"The Tanaiste, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for the Environment should take a pro-active stance of representing the Irish people's views, which have been overwhelmingly anti-nuclear for many decades," he went on.

He said that they should express concerns about this building programme.

"The UK could engage, like Ireland, in a very strong renewable sector and move away from nuclear power.


"I think that from a green perspective that the Government should be more vocal in opposing this programme," he said.

He said that nuclear power could no longer be regarded either as a renewable source of power or as a cheap source of power.

"In Germany, there is a commitment to phase out nuclear power over the next 20 years."