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Local Seafood Less Radioactive! 8 September 2004

The Department of Local Government and the Environment has published the latest results of its on-going radiation monitoring. The annual report for 2003 details the results of tests on locally-produced foods such as milk, vegetables and meat. No hazardous level of radioactivity was found in any of the foods examined.

Drinking water from each of the Island's seven distribution areas was also analysed, but no artificial radioactivity was detected in any test sample.

Although radioactive contamination from Sellafield is still detectable in local seafood, tests show that the contamination of lobsters by Technetium-99 has reduced following BNFL's actions to cut back on discharges of that isotope from Sellafield into the Irish Sea. Manx consumers who eat appreciable quantities of local seafood are unlikely to receive more than 2% of the acceptable radiation exposure limit for the general public. Environment Minister, John Rimington MHK, commenting on publication of the latest report said:

"I am pleased to see that BNFL's actions to cut discharges of radioactivity from Sellafield appear to be having some impact in reducing contamination levels around our coastline. I know that the UK Government is committed to achieving close-to-zero discharges from Sellafield by 2020. However, that target will be difficult to achieve while BNFL continues to reprocess nuclear fuel from both the UK and foreign nuclear companies. Our position is quite clear: we want an immediate end to reprocessing of nuclear fuel at Sellafield and all the foreign nuclear material returned to the countries of origin."

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