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-> Greens Press -> Green MEP calls for public inquiry into Aldermastonnukes factory
17202006-01-22

January 19th,
2006


MEP CALLS FOR PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO NUKES FACTORY
PLANNED ALDERMASTON EXTENSION MUST BE STOPPED - LUCAS

DEPUTY Prime Minister John Prescott must hold a full public inquiry into
plans for a massive extension to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at
Aldermaston, a Euro-MP has demanded.

The plans for a new and upgraded nuclear weapons factory threaten local
democracy, international law and world peace said Caroline Lucas, Green
Party MEP for South-East England.

The proposals, for a laser facility and associated buildings to test the
next generation of nuclear weapons, will be discussed by planners at West
Berkshire District Council (WBDC) next week.

Dr Lucas has written to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, urging him to
call in the proposals and hold a public inquiry. She said an inquiry was
justified for several reasons, including:

The high number of public objections received by West Berkshire District
Council
The scale of the plans, which constitute a major project of regional and
national importance
The need for a separate prior debate on whether to upgrade the current
Trident nuclear arsenal at all
The potential illegality of the plans under international law:
specifically the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the 1996 ruling of the
International Court that nuclear weapons are unlawful
To conform to EU rules on the Environmental Impact Assessment of major
developments

WBDCs planning committee had been due to discuss the proposals at a meeting
last November, but a decision was put off until next Wednesday, January
25th.

Dr Lucas, who is a member of the European Parliaments Environment
Committee, co-president of its cross-party peace initiatives group and a
member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmaments National Council, has
written to WBDC arguing the proposed new facility is out of keeping with
other buildings in the area, would pose a public health risk and should
therefore be subject to public consultation and that it would increase
traffic by nearly ten per cent for 30 months.

The planned facility poses a major environmental and health risk, yet no
proper assessment of its impact on local people has been carried out, she
said.

This is in breach of both EU and UK law and is itself reason enough for
West Berkshire planners to oppose the facility.

The MEP also told planners she was concerned at evidence of work already
starting on the laser facilitys construction before receiving planning
permission.

Dr Lucas added: To start work on new facility at Britains nuclear weapons
factory before local people have had their say on the proposals is a
shameful abuse of local democracy and misuse of public money.

The proposals breach not only local and EU planning rules, they fly in the
face of international law and common sense - regarding nuclear weapons.
The UK cannot hope to persuade states such as Iran and North Korea to
abandon their nuclear ambitions whilst we continue to invest in our own
nuclear weapons capacity.

Dr Lucas is determined to halt work at Aldermaston by any lawful means. If
her plea to John Prescott and local planners falls on deaf ears, she has
pledged to block the builders - by lying down in front of them, if
necessary.

I have been arrested before for obstructing nuclear weapons and Im not
afraid of being arrested again, blocking the builders at Aldermaston if need
be.

The real crime, and one which we hope to prevent, is the proliferation of
nuclear weapons of mass destruction.






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