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Nuclear campaigner vows to continue protests

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Nuclear campaigner vows to continue protests

A CAMPAIGNER who is hailing a decision not to bring nuclear submarine waste to Chapelcross says this is ‘just the start’.

Paul Cowan is vowing to fight for all nuclear materials to be taken out of Scotland, and says he will oppose any plans for a second nuclear power plant in the Annan area.
Speaking after a Ministry of Defence announcement last week, Mr Cowan said: “It’s just the start, really.
“It’s a crucial thing to get rid of every nuclear item in Scotland, and to make Scotland a nuclear-free country.”
Chapelcross was one of five sitest shorlisted to store intermediate level radioactive waste from 27 ex-Royal Navy subs, but last week the Ministry of Defence announced that Capenhurst Nuclear Services in Cheshire had been selected.
South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth says the move is ‘unsurprising’ given that Chapelcross is looking beyond decomissioning to its future.
But he said: “It could have set a precedent for accepting future requests for further waste storage and that would undermine the whole aim of the Beyond Chapelcross project which is to diversify the site to create new economic and employment opportunities.”
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has echoed those views, and has praised the local community for engaging ‘so effectively’ during the public consultation.
She said: “The decision really demonstrates the strength of local opinion – I’m delighted my constituents’ voices have been heard.”
However, Paul Cowan says he was the lone voice of protest during public consultations.
He said: “I was the only person who turned up, and I was the only person who protested about it.”
And he added: “There were no negative aspects put forward at all until I turned up.”
Mr Cowan now reveals that spilling soup onto a model of the proposed facility while displayed in Victoria Halls was not an accident.
He said: “I don’t normally carry cold tomato soup when I go somewhere.”
Having challenged Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell over the move, Mr Cowan received a personal letter from the Secretary of State for Scotland at the weekend informing him of the final plans.

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