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Anti nuclear policy in Ireland

There are no nuclear power plants in Ireland.

2002: Bid to limit expansion of nuclear energy

In 2002 Ireland has formed an alliance with five other European Union countries in a bid to limit the expansion of nuclear energy. The Government has signed a joint letter, seen by the Irish Examiner, which calls on the Brussels Environment Commissioner not to include nuclear power as part of an initiative to promote clean energy around the world.
The inclusion of the other signatories Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Greece significantly strengthens Ireland's attempts to build up an anti-nuclear stance within the EU.

The matter arose at the Earth Summit talks where nations are arguing over a target for renewable energy in a bid to increase its usage over the next decade.

EU members such as Britain and France have been calling for nuclear energy to be included in this target, which would have paved the way for greater use of nuclear energy around the world.

But the letter says the inclusion of this is "definitely not in line with the positions taken by the EU so far" and insists that only "environmentally sound" energies should be considered. A spokesman for Environment Minister Martin Cullen, who played a role in drafting the letter, said it was a major step forward in their campaign against nuclear power. "It's in Ireland's interests to form a political alliance among like-minded countries which have concerns over nuclear energy," the spokesman said. "By bringing fellow EU member states on board, the action should strengthen our goal of ending unacceptable risks such as Sellafield."

Objection to reprocessing facility in Sellafield

The alliance could also prove valuable to Ireland as further EU treaties governing areas such as nuclear waste disposal are drawn up. Ireland joined with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in objecting to the commissioning of a 550 million MOX reprocessing facility at Sellafield.

The Government also argued against the plant before the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. However, the British Government has insisted that the plant, which supports thousands of jobs in the Cumbria area, is completely safe.