Sellafield In Dock Again



The accident prone Sellafield plant has once again found itself `in the dock’ after a number of bags of low grade radioactive waste were sent to a general landfill site instead of the specialist radioactive waster store at Drigg

Sellafield Limited last week pleaded guilty at Workington Magistrates’ Court accepting that it had sending several bags of radioactive waste to the wrong facility at Lillyhall, near Workington.

A prosecution was brought against the Sellafield plant operators by the Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation who had identified that four bags of mixed general waste, such as plastic, paper, tissues, clothing,
wood and metal, from normal operations in controlled areas of the site, were sent to the wrong location.

Sellafield say the error was caused by a new monitor which had passed the bags as `general’ waste making them exempt from strict disposal controls. They say the problem was rectified and the bags returned for correct disposal. Meanwhile the EA say no contamination `was left’ at the Lillyhall site.

The EA seem pleased with the outcome and the actions taken a spokesman for the Agency said:

“Our overriding aim in regulating the nuclear industry is to protect people and the environment from the release of radioactive wastes into the environment.”

“We have carried out a thorough investigation in partnership with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and have already required Sellafield Ltd to take action to ensure this does not happen again.”

However many including the Celtic League would say how could such a basic error occur given previous shortcomings identified at Sellafield (some minor – some serious) over three decades.

The EA should have insisted processes were in place which were robust enough for such a basic misdirection of toxic waste (albeit low grade) to have occurred.

Full report on the ONR website – see link:\egulators-charges/

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


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