Nuclear challenge as radioactive iodine reaches Glasgow

For immediate release 29 March 2011

Radioactive iodine, believed to be from the stricken Fukushima plant, has today been detected in Glasgow. This news should be the clearest message yet to the other political parties that there can be no future for nuclear power in Scotland, the Greens said.

The Greens also point out that none of the other Holyrood parties can be trusted on nuclear. Labour and the Tories continue to support it, the Lib Dems in coalition are now backing it, and in 2007 SNP Ministers did not oppose the extension of Hunterston B's operating life, a plant with a serious track record of leaks of radioactive material.

Patrick Harvie said:

"The doses involved here are very low, and should not cause direct concern in Scotland. But the fact that the consequences of the Fukushima meltdown are detectable halfway around the world shows how irresponsible it would be for Scotland to go back down the nuclear dead-end. There may be mere traces of radioactive iodine here, but the people living around the Fukushima plant will now be living with the consequences for decades to come, and that's not a risk we should take at Hunterston, at Torness, or anywhere in Scotland.

"The Tories and Labour remain wedded to nuclear, the most unsafe and uneconomic way to make power yet devised. The Lib Dems did another sharp u-turn on the issue after getting into bed with the Tories. Even SNP Ministers backed the 2007 plan to keep the crumbling Hunterston B plant running for five more years. It should have closed this year, but instead we must take the unacceptable risks that come with it until 2016.

"Only a strong group of Green MSPs can be relied upon to be a clear voice against nuclear in the next Holyrood session, to close down the existing plants as safely and as quickly as possible, and to block any new proposals."