GREENS IN EURO BID TO HALT MOX
Thursday, May 31, 2001
European law is being used by Green campaigners to try and halt any moves to allow Sellafield's Mox plant to operate.
The government faces a high court challenge, immediately after the election, to British Nuclear Fuels' plans to start up the new plant to make plutonium fuel for reactors in Sweden, Germany and Japan. The government, which hopes to part privatise BNFL, is accused of using "voodoo economics" to justify the plant by Cumbrian anti-nuclear group CORE's Martin Forwood. Friends of the Earth, backed by Greenpeace, began the action, last week, after the latest public consultation on starting up the plant.
Green groups believe that John Prescott, environment secretary, and Alan Milburn, health secretary, broke the law by restricting the scope of that consultation. They say that under European law a nuclear plant, that subjects the public to extra radioactivity, has to be justified on economic grounds before it can be licensed. This would be impossible in the case of Mox, unless its £462m construction costs were to be written off.