Ingelin Noresjø,Nordland County Council on InfoArena 2016
|Ingelin Noresjø (Christian Democrat), Executive of Culture, Environment and Public health, in Nordland County Council.|
I would like to thank Lofoten mot Sellafield for hosting this meeting and providing an opportunity for dialogue with representatives of Sellafield. I will also wish the representatives from Fukushima a special welcome to Nordland County and this meeting.
I am pleased that you all have taken the time to come to Lofoten to listen to our concerns regarding Sellafield. I hope you will give us some update on the latest developments and plans. I also hope we will have an interesting debate today.
I represent the beautiful region of Norway called Nordland County. Nordland County is the third northernmost county in Norway with a population of approximately 240.000 inhabitants. In our region people live in close contact with and are dependent on, our natural resources. We like to say that we hosts the world's most beautiful coast! Our county is a persistent meeting between sea and land. The coast and islands have been inhabited for centuries, and remains so. Lofoten is repeatedly named as one of the world's most beautiful archipelago.
Our rich resources and location has given us advantages within areas like fishing, aquaculture, mineral extraction and energy production. Tourism is an important industry both in the urban and rural areas of the county.
As you understand, there are many reasons why we love our county. And that is the main reason why the nuclear activities Sellafield has been on the political agenda for several years. The operation and decommissioning of Sellafield has been an issue of great political and public concern over the years. As you know, Norway has no nuclear installations of its own, apart from two research reactors. But there are many nuclear installations and other sources of pollution risk in our neighbourhood.
Some of these installations are of particular concern to us, because they represent a substantial risk for uncontrolled radioactive emissions into the environment and gives us environmental and health safety concerns
We consider Sellafield to be such a high risk site. Others include the remaining Chernobyl-type reactors and the Kola Nuclear Power Plant close to our border with Russia.
Sellafield has a potential to cause transboundary radioactive pollution in the event of a major accident or incident. Prevailing winds and sea-currents make Norway, and also Nordland County, the closest neighbour downstream. Both the history of acid rain and that of discharges from Sellafield demonstrate that Norway is at risk if an accidental emission of radioactivity should occur.
My aim for the politics regarding environmental issues in general, is that the legacy which we all must hand over to future generations, is a clean, healthy environment which promotes and facilitates sustainable development. In succeeding, we are dependent on the work and engagement from volunteers, associations and NGOs. We are pleased to “host” Lofoten mot Sellafield in our region/county. Their work is an example of how much “the little man” can achieve. The ongoing work they have been doing through all these years is impressing.
The Norwegian approach to Sellafield is continuous political dialogue. And I am grateful to have the opportunity to day to be in such a close dialogue with all of you. In my opinion, the dialogue between United Kingdom and Norwegian authorities concerning Sellafield is constructive and useful. I hope we can continue this dialog and have a constructive meeting today.
Thank you for your attention!