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Dundalk Conference on Energy Policy

category louth | sci-tech | news report author Saturday May 20, 2006 16:22author by Sean Crudden - Cooley Environmental and Health Groupauthor email sean at cooleyehg dot comauthor address Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth.author phone 087 9739945 Report this post to the editors

The Case Against Nuclear

Many of the problems of energy, environmental protection, political direction were touched on at this morning's conference in The Fairways Hotel, Dundalk. There was an obvious element of concern in the audience and there was a distinct air of resistance among the speakers.
Bairbre De Brun and Archbishop Michael D Hynes
Bairbre De Brun and Archbishop Michael D Hynes

The conference "Sellafield - Still a Danger" took place in The Fairways Hotel, Dundalk, commencing at 10.30 a.m. It concluded at 1.30 p.m. and during the conference a range of eminent speakers rehearsed comprehensively the argument against Sellafield in particular and nuclear energy in general.

The first session was on the topic "Why Sellafield Must Close," and it was chaired by Barbara De Brún MEP. The speakers in this section were Lennart Varmby, Board Member, Swedish Energy Agency and Councillor Tomás Sharkey - a Sinn Féin councillor on Louth County Council.

The second section was on the topic "How to Organise for the Closure of Sellafield" and it was chaired by Arthur Morgan TD. The speakers in this session were George Regan, Councillor (Scottish Labour), Dundee City Council, Vice-Chairperson Nuclear Free Local Authorities; Caitriona Ruane MLA, South Down; Rea Street, Vice-Chairperson, CND, Great Britain.

The conference, which was open to the public, had a warm atmosphere and a good level of audience participation. The speakers all maintained a high standard and there were a few schoolboys and younger people in the audience.

Catherine Ruane reminded us of the formidable efforts previously made by Sinn Féin in campaigns over the "Shoot to Kill" policy and "The Colombia Three" which were fought in the teeth of hostile public opinion and it seems to me that the efforts of that party will make the nuclear lobby fight every inch of the way in the future. One interesting point she made was that film is a very potent tool of any campaign.

Lennart Varmby made the point that energy provision had become more localised in Sweden (e.g. biomass) and, perhaps, this points the way energy production will go here and elsewhere into the future.

Of course, personally, I hope that the debate on energy policy in this country does not descend to the level of a faction fight with splits along predictable lines.

I seem to recollect that a Government Green Paper on energy policy is promised and it would be more than welcome.

What we think about energy policy is not the most important starting point. I think the key consideration is how we think about it. And I keenly expect that the thought processes deployed here will have to transcend the knee-jerk qualities that have been characteristic of much political "debate" here in the past few years.

Anyway the conference today was a good pipe-opener and the organisers are to be congratulated.

Related Link: http://www.cooleyehg.com

Arthur Morgan and Rea Street
Arthur Morgan and Rea Street

Caitriona Ruane and George Regan
Caitriona Ruane and George Regan

Councillor Bell (Labour), Drogheda
Councillor Bell (Labour), Drogheda

author by brian greene - shutsellafield.compublication date Sat May 20, 2006 16:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wish I could have been there, did they record it for tape or film or podcast?
are the docs available online? and how many people were there?

I should be somewhere else in Dublin now, but Im stuck here, with TV teletext and web :-(
bfn brian

Related Link: http://www.shutsellafield.com
author by Sean Crudden - Cooley Environmental and Health Grouppublication date Tue May 30, 2006 19:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The failure is outlined in this report on the RTE website.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0530/sellafield.html
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