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BNFL to Cut Discharges 23 April 2004

The announcement today by British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) that it has successfully developed new technology which will now be used to cut by 90% the discharges of radioactive Technetium-99 to the Irish Sea, has been welcomed by the Isle of Man Government Environment Minister, Hon. Pamela M. Crowe, MLC.

Minister Crowe said,

"I have taken a close interest in the progress of BNFL's plant-scale trials of their new technology for removing Technetium-99 from sea discharges and I am very pleased that we can now expect almost complete removal of Technetium-99 for alternative on-land disposal at Sellafield. This is undoubtedly excellent news which must be welcomed by everyone who wants to see an end to radioactive pollution of the Irish Sea."

Minister Crowe stated,

"The intensive efforts which BNFL has made to develop the new treatment process to remove Technetium-99, have undoubtedly been at the request of the UK Government, which has been under considerable pressure from neighbouring countries to cut the discharges of this material to the Irish Sea. I know that Isle of Man Government has made a positive contribution to achieving this beneficial outcome for our coastal waters."

The Minister continued,

"The problem with Technetium-99 discharges may now have been solved. However, there are many other problems at Sellafield, particularly with regard to the dismantling of old nuclear plants which are in a very bad state of repair. These present major problems for which we are still awaiting solutions. I would say, therefore, that we must continue with our efforts to force the nuclear industry and the UK Government to clean-up Sellafield."

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