WICKLOW County Council will ask the Department of Health for a risk assessment over plans for a new nuclear power station at Anglesey in north Wales.
The original Wylfa plant on Anglesey closed in 2015 after more than 40 years of service. The Japanese conglomerate Hitachi are also involved in the talks with the British Government.
The matter was placed on the agenda for Monday’s meeting at the behest of Cllr Tom Fortune, who described the plans as ‘one of the most serious issues in many years’ faced by Wicklow, and Ireland as a whole.
‘It is important the local authority works with councillors and come up with an objection. We need to put together a really good submission containing any expert opinion we can get,’ said Cllr Fortune.
He noted that radioactive particles were found in the likes of Galway and Waterford after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
‘ There was also a recent incident in Japan where a nuclear plant burst and over 3,900 people became affected directly. I propose we have a proper meeting on this with proper experts and the people with the required knowledge,’ added Cllr Fortune.
Cllr Nicola Lawless provided the meeting with an update on how the plans for the nuclear power plant are progressing.
‘ They are replacing the original plant. It will be a major concern if there is a devastation like experienced in Chernobyl. We need to put in place a submission and open up talks with our counterparts from Wales,’ said Cllr Lawless.
Cllr Mary Kavanagh stated that the deadline for submission was January 25.
Cllr Dermot O’Brien felt the company Hitachi were looking for locations outside of Japan to establish nuclear power plants.
‘It is almost like they have outsourced the problem to another part of the world where they won’t have to face any of the potential consequences’.
Cllr Derek Mitchell proposed that the council contact the Irish energy board to ask their opinion on what the plans are and the potential risks.
The matter will be back on the agenda for January’s meeting once the Department has furnished the council with its risk assessment.
BELOW: The now closed Wylfa plant.