Nuclear Safety: Sellafield Leak And Power Station Issues


The latest quarterly statement from the Office for Nuclear Regulation indicates that there was a small leakage of plutonium contaminated liquid at the Sellafield reprocessing plant during the first quarter of 2011.

Details of the incident forwarded to the Celtic League by Mike Weightman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations, concludes:

“We have investigated the incident and we are satisfied that neither the public nor workers were adversely affected by the incident. We are content that the incident was properly reported, the contamination correctly analysed and safely cleaned up, and that Sellafield Ltd carried out an appropriate internal
investigation that identified the cause of the event.”

However, despite the HMI assurance the incident, occurring when the question of safety of nuclear sites is very much the focus of public concern, is worrying.

The first quarter statement also lists events at two other nuclear power station sites, Hartlepool in England and Torness in Scotland. In both these incidents the HMI/ONR conclusions are also positively focused and whilst the Celtic League has no reason to doubt the diligence of the regulator the persistence of what
some might term `minor’ breaches of operating safety do in our view call for an approach which is less `light fingered’.

The full copy of the latest quarterly statement can be accessed on line at:

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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