By Stephen M. Silverman
April 26, 2002 10:17 AM

Protestors in Ireland selected the 16th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Russia to bombard Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prince Charles with messages demanding the closure of Britain’s Sellafield nuclear plant, reports Reuters. “Sellafield has the potential to be 80 times the size of the Chernobyl accident,” leading protester Ali Hewson, 40, wife of Irish rock star Bono, also 40, told reporters after personally delivering a postcard to Blair’s London office. “Tony, look me in the eye and tell me I’m safe,” said Hewson’s postcard to Blair under a picture of a staring green eye — one of more than 1.2 million such postcards sent by Irish households for delivery to Britain on Friday, according to Reuters. Long the subject of protests by environmentalists in Britain and Ireland, the issue of Sellafield has taken on new urgency since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and Washington’s Pentagon. “That’s the reason that people are rethinking exactly the problems of Sellafield,” said Hewson, whose husband Bono, of the rock band U2, is a leading campaigner against Third World debt, notes Reuters. “It has 75 tons of plutonium sitting on its site. It can’t but be at the top of any terrorist’s list.” British Energy Minister Brian Wilson issued a statement decrying the “emotive and misleading arguments” of anti-Sellafield campaigners. “The U.K. government would not pursue any course of action which is damaging either to our own people or to our neighbors in Ireland,” he said.