Belfast Telegraph

DUP fails to back motion against dumping of radioactive waste in Northern Ireland

DUP councillors abstained from voting after amendment was rejected.

New search for site to dispose of nuclear waste
New search for site to dispose of nuclear waste
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

DUP councillors have failed to back a motion opposing the dumping of radioactive waste in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon council area.

Radioactive Waste Management, a public organisation established by the UK government, has been carrying out surveys in parts of the borough to identify potential sites for the disposal of nuclear waste.

At a full council meeting on Monday night, Sinn Fein brought forward a motion registering the local authority's "unequivocal opposition" on behalf of its citizens to any nuclear waste disposal facilities or any further surveys in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.

The motion passed, with support from all parties but the DUP, who abstained from the motion.

Sinn Fein Group leader Darren McNally said: “We brought forward a motion opposing the dumping of radioactive waste in the ABC area following recent surveys into potential sites for the disposal of nuclear waste.

“We are shocked that the grave concerns we expressed - including a risk to life in the transportation of it - was not backed by the DUP.

“We are however delighted that all other parties supported our motion which passed.”

DUP group leader councillor Mark Baxter told the Belfast Telegraph that the party was broadly supportive of the motion, but that DUP councillors abstained from the vote after amendments to the motion were not included.

“The simple reason why our DUP Grouping abstained on this motion was the refusal by Sinn Fein to include our amendment in their original motion," he said.

"This amendment called for a simple additional action of raising the requirement amongst HMRC and the Environmental Crime Unit of a redoubling of their efforts to stamp out the current and very real threat to our environment posed by the illegal criminal act of laundering fuel and the dumping of toxic sludge in our countryside.

"It was unfortunate that this could not be included given the importance of the matter and regularity of toxic sludge dumping."

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