The Whitehaven News
Thursday, February 15, 2001
PLUG PULLED ON IRISH STUDENTS' SELLAFIELD TOUR
SIXTY students from Limerick were this week stopped from touring Sellafield for safety and security reasons.
BNFL had agreed they could have a bus tour of the site, on Tuesday, but quickly changed its mind after hearing that the university students had taken part in the previous day's big anti-nuclear protest outside the Trident submarine base at Faslane, on the Clyde.
However, despite BNFL's cancellation attempt, the Irish party presented themselves at Sellafield in a fleet of buses.
Sellafield spokeswoman, Tracey Riley, said: "They congregated at the Visitors Centre and were not happy that they were not being allowed on the site. We had reason to believe they were involved in the Faslane demonstration and that a number of them had been arrested, so we decided to cancel the visit on safety and security grounds.
The students said their visit to Sellafield was for peaceful purposes but if we had let them on the site and they had caused trouble it would not have been fair on our work force. Their safety is a priority."
Deputy head of site, Paul Croft, talked to the students who were allowed to look around the visitors centre. BNFL admitted their was no trouble or protest.
Up to 700 protesters took part in the Faslane demo. Ministers from the Church of Scotland and a Labour MP were among those arrested. It was backed in a phone call by Sir Sean Connery who sent his apologies for absence because of filming commitments."