[ RadSafe ] Sellafield
hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Fri Jan 31 09:13:30 CST 2014
*31 January 2014* Last updated at 09:32 ET
Sellafield partly closed after 'above normal' radiation Sellafield partly
closed after 'above normal' radiation
[image: Sellafield Nuclear plant]
A perimeter alarm detected "elevated" radioactivity
*The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria is partially closed
after "elevated levels of radioactivity" were detected.*
Each building was checked after a perimeter alarm was triggered at the
north of the site.
The company later said it was naturally occurring background radiation and
not attributable to any issue or problem with any operation on site.
A spokesman stressed there was no risk to the public or workforce.
He added: "There can be no guessing on nuclear sites".
Rory O'Neill, director of stakeholder relations, said: "One of the 20-odd
site perimeter monitors that we have is registering above normal levels of
"It's not a level that would trigger any kind of activity on or off site.
It's below levels that would demand us to do sheltering or anything like
In a statement, The Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "We are
in constant contact with Sellafield, but we have no reason to believe that
it is any more serious than they've said."
Part of the plant is being cleared to allow detailed investigations and the
"relevant experts" are on site, a Sellafield spokesman said.
David Moore, chairman of the West Cumbria Cumbria Stakeholders' Group, an
independent watchdog funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said
the company's actions did not imply "anything has gone wrong on the site".
"They've never been scared to raise the levels for safety," he said. "I
think they've taken the right decision here."
Sellafield later said in a statement: "Our in-air monitors are extremely
sensitive and pick up on any abnormality.
"Overnight the monitoring system initially indicated elevated levels of
"Following investigation and analysis, we can now confirm these levels to
be naturally occurring background radon.
"We would like to thank our staff and the wider West Cumbrian community for
their calm and mature response to events this morning."
Day personnel, agency staff and contractors have been told to stay at home
Other workers, including transport and utilities personnel, are working as
normal "in support of plant continuity requirements".
Paddy Regan, professor of nuclear physics at the University of Surrey, said
removing staff from site in such circumstances was "standard protocol" and
a "sensible precaution" although rare.
The alarm would be reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency, but
was not currently at a level measured by the International Nuclear Event
Scale, Sellafield said.
As well as reprocessing nuclear fuel, Sellafield houses most of the
country's highly radioactive waste and its whole civil plutonium stockpile.
Malcolm Grimston, an energy expert from thinktank Chatham House, said there
had been a "real cultural change" at the company which meant it was "much
more open and honest".
· The plant is being decommissioned,
infrastructure dismantled and nuclear waste decontaminated
· The cost of decommissioning the plant has
been estimated at over £70bn
· In April 2005 a leak of radioactive waste
was found at Sellafield's Thorp plant which was categorised as a level
three event (out of seven) on the International Nuclear Event Scale and
resulted in fines
· In 2010 the government said Sellafield
was one of eight possible sites considered suitable for future nuclear
· A year later it said it hoped an
electricity generating company would choose to build a power station there
· Objections to the site have been raised
by Ireland, Norway and the Isle of Man which are concerned by the risks of
· Source: Reuters
Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-672-2014 (Home - New Mexico)
+1-505-670-8123 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com
On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 7:53 AM, Peter Bossew <peter.bossew at reflex.at>
> It seems that today an accident has happened in Sellafield incl releases.
> Anybody knows more ?
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