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Speaking last night (September 19) at the 55th General Conference of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Phil Hogan, said ‘nuclear safety in any one country is a matter of concern to all others.’

The minister last week called for a ‘long-term sustained commitment’ from both Sellafield and the UK authorities for a ‘successful’ clean-up of the Cumbrian site.

Ireland has for a long time voiced concerns over a potential accident at Sellafield and its impacts on the country.

The minister, the first Irish politician to address the meeting, said: “While specific safety provisions remain, in the first instance, a matter for each country, the potential transboundary impact of a nuclear accident means that nuclear safety in any one country is a matter of concern to all others.

“International cooperation is essential to provide assurance the right measures are in place and that they are effectively implemented.

“Safety standards and practices are best supported and enhanced by international peer review and the sharing of knowledge.

Mr Hogan also voiced his support for the agency’s continuing efforts to improve nuclear safety worldwide.

Luke Walsh

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