CND welcomes the decision by politicians in Plymouth to oppose plans for a nuclear waste factory in the centre of their city.
In preparation for a major protest demonstration march on Saturday 31st October, Kate Hudson, the Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, welcomed the decision of Plymouth Council leader, Vivienne Pengelly, to challenge the nuclear dump at Plymouth’s Devonport Dockyard.
“We have exposed the dangers and costs of cutting-up and storing nuclear waste in a city of 250,000 people. At last the local politicians are waking-up, but this is not enough. The people of Plymouth need assurances that there will be no nuclear waste facility.”
Local CND campaigners and environmentalists have campaigned for years against the dangers of the nuclear dockyard.
Tony Staunton, Secretary of Plymouth’s Trades Union Council believes the Dockyard has too much power over local politicians:
“With our nearest primary school just 400 metres from radioactive contamination, there is outrage locally at Plymouth becoming the national centre for storing nuclear waste from obsolete submarines. This includes extremely toxic metals and equipment, not just so-called low level waste. The private owners, Babcock Marine, hope to make billions in profits from contaminating our city for the next hundred years. It is an outrage!”
The Ministry of Defence has called an emergency meeting for Friday 23rd October, in an attempt to reassure local politicians and the Chamber of Commerce who are also concerned that the nuclear dump will prevent regeneration of Plymouth as a waterfront city.
Campaigners are concerned that meetings are taking place without them, or any public scrutiny. Campaigners believe the Ministry of Defence is looking to divert attention from the planned demonstrations on 31st October, by briefing local community leaders in secret.
“There has been a culture of secrecy and poor consultation in Plymouth, and the public have been kept in the dark. We want to see full transparency in advance of any decisions being made, and a full public inquiry into any plans for the cutting-up and storage of nuclear waste in the middle of such a large population,” explained Kate Hudson.
CND today called upon the MoD to ensure full participation from local campaign groups and environmentalists in any discussions about the future of the nuclear base.
“Billions of pounds of tax-payers’ money have ensured the Dockyard has state-of-the-art engineering facilities,” explained Tony Staunton. “This plant should be transformed into a centre for producing turbines for wind and wave energy to beat climate change, not contaminating the beaches of east Cornwall, the entire national park of Dartmoor and England’s 10th largest city with radiation.”