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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Cumbrian MP says Scotland must take waste back under independence

Copeland MP Jamie Reed is demanding that Scottish nuclear waste at Sellafield is sent back if Scotland becomes independent.

Jamie Reed: Hospitals are at ‘tipping point’

The Labour MP pointed out in January that it is illegal under English law to dispose of nuclear waste from another country.

Waste from Scotland would fall under that category if Scotland left the United Kingdom.

Now he has gone further by asking ministers what steps they are taking to remove Scottish waste from Sellafield in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum on independence in 2014.

He posed a series of questions to the Scottish Under Secretary and Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell in the Commons on Monday.

Mr Reed asked: “Will the Government commit themselves to an analysis of the volumes of radioactive materials from Scotland that are stored in England?

“How much it will cost to remove them to Scotland, where in Scotland will they be buried, and who will be responsible for them in the long term?

“He will be aware that foreign waste cannot be disposed of in Britain.”

Mr Mundell responded that it was up to those proposing Scottish independence to say how they would deal with waste returned from Sellafield.

He added: “Those who want to break up Britain must set out clearly how that would be done and what it would cost.”

The Scottish National Party-led administration at Holyrood says it will address the issue next year.

A statement to the News & Star said: “Proposals for nuclear decommissioning in an independent Scotland will be covered in a White Paper in November 2013.

“In the meantime, radioactive waste and nuclear material in England and Scotland will continue to be managed in line with national policies of both countries and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority strategy.”

The Scottish government is committed to phasing out nuclear power.

However, radioactive material originating from Scottish reactors at Chapelcross near Annan, Hunterston in Ayrshire, Torness near Edinburgh, and Dounreay near Thurso, has found its way to Sellafield.


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