The Irish government calls for the closure of the Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant in Cumbria, England.

36 years after it opened and around 300 accidents later, there has been all-party agreement in Ireland that Britain should be asked to close down Sellafield.

The government is also calling for the establishment of a European Nuclear Inspectorate.  Reporter Vincent Woods talks to Tánaiste and Minister for Energy Dick Spring about the sudden turnaround in government policy. Dick Spring describes the issue of Sellafield as a being a national issue that is above politics. 

Our belief and trust in Sellafield has been weakening at all times. The number of unauthorised leaks and incidents at Sellafield certainly give us no confidence in either the management of Sellafield or the nuclear industry as a whole in Britain.

Following the Council of Energy Ministers meeting the previous week it became clear that the British would not participate in the setting up of an inspectorate. The Labour Party, led by Dick Spring, are in favour of the winding down of Sellafield over time and the establishment of an inspectorate. 

They also discuss Ireland's ability to cope with a nuclear accident should it occur anywhere in Europe. 

To date there has been no response from the British government. 

'This Week' broadcast on 7 December 1986. The reporter is Vincent Woods