The Weekly Report Cornerstone

   WEEK 29 July 8th to 14th 2002


   More bad news from the British nuclear industry this week. The British government has created a scapegoat agency designed to cushion the fall, the impact for Sellafield and other major nuclear polluters.
   The new, public government agency, Liability Management Authority (LMA) will carry both the economical and judicial responsibility for any damage caused by pollution.
   Everybody expected some action from the government in connection with the long delayed decision on whether or not British Nuclear Fuel (BNFL) will be allowed to keep releasing 90 terra becquerel of the highly toxic radioactive compound Technetium into the Irish Sea every year.
   There was a decision allright. No formal one, but clearly a step in the direction desired by the Blair administration.
   The announcement of the new "body of liability" came the day after the discovery of the possible imminent collapse of old tanks of radioactive waste found near Sellafield. The tanks are in a very bad state and even the British Atomic Energy Commission have given the Sellafield administration the order of "emptying the tanks as soon as possible". What that means exactly, is anybody's guess.
   LMA will anyhow be taking care of any court action in both this and all other cases concerning nuclear power. While the polluters will be able to keep polluting, without any risk of civil or criminal persecution. The reaction from environmentalists and the Norwegian and Swedish governments, who for years have attempted to stop the British from polluting their shores, is very harsh indeed.
   The British environmental minister, on the other hand calls it "a great day for assessing blame in environmental cases". The critics say it's another great tool for blurring blame.







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Entered 2002-07-14