Whitehaven News

The Whitehaven News


Thursday, April 19, 2001

Norwegian anti-nuclear campaigners who this week anchored near pipelines pumping waste water from Sellafield say they are determined to stop reprocessing at the plant.

The Oslo-based group, Neptun, leased a trawler to enable their divers to descend to the end of the pipelines on the bed of the Irish Sea.

The boat, The Genius, anchored at 6am on Tuesday and held its position in choppy seas as divers took samples and considered ways to block the pipelines.

Neptun spokeswoman Katrine Kristiansen said: "We want to stop the discharges that are contaminating lobsters caught in Norway.

"We first detected the radiation in 1996 and since then there has been a six-fold increase.''

The group has been in talks with Greenpeace Holland, which briefly blocked the Sellafield discharge pipe-line by inserting a rubber bung which they then inflated with compressed air. This action resulted in legal injunctions against Greenpeace.

Ms Kristiansen said of this week's action: "This is just the start. We intend to do whatever is necessary to block the pipelines.''

The Neptun group has faxed a message to Tony Blair and the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, demanding immediate action.

The fax said: "A group from the Neptun Foundation anchored above the nuclear waste pipes coming from Sellafield. They do this in an attempt to stop the radioactive Technet-ium-99 from being pumped out into the sea.

"This is a non-violent action. The fact that the British Government allows the discharge of waste water containing Technetium-99 from Sellafield is totally un-acceptable. Technet-ium-99 is contaminating all oceans in the northern hemisphere.

"We expect the Brit-ish Government and Tony Blair to promote immediate actions that will lead to the closure of Sellafield."

Officers from the UKAEA constabulary went out and spoke to the Norwegian team on Tuesday.

Sellafield spokesman Nigel Monkton said: "We understand they are only doing research but we have sent people out by boat to talk to them.

"We do discharge technetium periodically from our magnox reprocessing, but there are no adverse health effects from these discharges and all are licensed.''