NSD Pressed On Sellafield Surface Contamination Incidents

The Celtic League has pressed the Nuclear Safety Directorate for more information about surface contamination at the Sellafield reprocessing plant. The latest move comes after revelations that yet another area of land was contaminated with plutonium.

HSE/NSD correspondence below:

“Dr Mike Weightman
HM Inspector of Nuclear Installations
HSE
Redgrave Court
Bootle
Merseyside L20 7HS

15/02/11

Dear Dr Weightman

I refer to the most recent quarterly report on nuclear incidents at nuclear installations which identifies a further ground contamination incident at the Sellafield reprocessing plant.

You will recall our exchange of correspondence with the Directorate in early 2010 concerning the monitoring of storm water outfalls from the Sellafield plant. You advised at that time of the delineation of roles between the Environment Agency (EA) and the Nuclear Safety Directorate (NSD). You also indicated that:

“As regards to ND’s role, your questions relate to storm drains. These are not monitored for radioactivity. Licensees’ Arrangements for Licence Compliance concentrate on the maintenance of containment integrity of nuclear plant and facilities, together with the adequacy of monitoring/detection of any leak and escape from such containment. Arrangements centre on the detection of any leaks or escapes as close to containment barriers as possible.”

From the foregoing I would expect that the NSD will have a log of all ground contamination incidents (leaks) at the plant during the period for which NSD has had monitoring responsibility and also historical records of prior events.

Notwithstanding that NSD does not monitor storm water outfalls can you advise if a site map of contaminated areas within the plant has been compiled by NSD and also if the proximity to both storm water outfalls of natural watercourses within the plants boundaries is correlated with same.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt
Director of Information”

Related link to the latest HSE nuclear incidents statements here:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear/quarterly-stat/2010-4.htm

Related articles on Celtic News here:

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3304
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3265

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

15/02/11

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