For more than two decades all parties in Ireland played out their obsession with ‘closing down Sellafield’ with each other and with the Irish public. Going Nuclear explores the historical origins of Ireland’s anti-nuclear stance; how it became a defining issue in Irish politics and British-Irish relations of the late 20th century and served as an allegory for the wider debate on nuclear power throughout western society.
Going Nuclear coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Windscale Fire of October 1957, the worst major nuclear accident known to the world before Chernobyl. 2008 also marks the 30th anniversary of a new mass protest movement in Ireland in 1978 against a proposal to build a nuclear power station at Carnsore Point in Wexford. The book sets out a non-partisan account of these events and other milestones in Ireland’s political dispute with Britain over Sellafield that culminated in a series of failed international legal actions in the early years of this century. Based on original research, enlivened by interviews with many key figures, this is an absorbing story of Ireland’s obsession with Britain’s nuclear industry as an extension of our nationalist heritage, of the collision between the worlds of science and politics and of the personal experiences and recollections of many of those directly involved in the Sellafield campaign. In the process, new light is shed in previously dark corners of our relationship with our nearest neighbour and some of our most cherished prejudices about Britain and the nuclear issue are challenged and exposed.
Table of Contents
Part 1 – Discoveries
Part 2 – The Bomb Makers
Part 3 – Nuclear Proliferation
Part 4 – The Rise and Fall of Civil Nuclear Power
Part 5 – Ireland V. Britain: The Sellafield Phoney War
About the Author
Veronica McDermott has worked as a journalist, political advisor, public relations and public affairs consultant, including ten years as public affairs consultant to the British nuclear industry.