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Paul Delamore

MullwharcharandLochDoon The site of the potential nuclear waste dump in 1981

In 1980, the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) wanted to dump nuclear waste in the hills not far from Ayr. The local populace, however, fought back and the first ever public inquiry in the UK was held into onshore burial of nuclear waste.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) were one of the main objectors alongside a host of other environmental pressure groups. SNP National Executive Committee member and Glasgow solicitor Willie McRae, as well as young SNP activist Brenda Carson, turned out to be key figures at what came to be known as the ‘Mullwharchar Inquiry’.

A polemicist, and an extremely crafty lawyer, Willie played a chess game with the AEA – luring them into questions to which the Authority could not answer for fear of reprisal.

His most famous proclamation during the two-week long inquiry is criminally unknown: “Nuclear waste…

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