News January 2017

2 January 2017

Sellafield

More than 450 safety lapses have occurred at Sellafield nuclear plant. Radiation and contamination episodes, spillages of active materials and fires in the facility happen regularly. The British government insists Sellafield is safe but admitted it was a “uniquely challenging” place to work. It follows a recent BBC Panoroma documentary which contained allegations of problems from past and present employees. A report from the Office for Nuclear Regulation, seen by the Irish Sun on Sunday, shows issues are routinely documented that are of concern to Ireland — if a disaster similar to Chernobyl or Fukushima occurs. It cites 12 lifting events which had “nuclear safety implications” and notes that “smouldering, smoking material or fire” was discovered five times up to March 2012. In September 2014, a “lagging blanket on high-pressure steam pipework ignited” at the plant while in July 2013, smoke was seen coming from a gas turbine. There were 24 cases of “radiation or contamination” events affecting personnel and 33 incidents involving the “unplanned leak or spillage of active or potentially active process liquor or material”, up to March 2012. Calling for the closure of Sellafield, Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy told the Irish Sun on Sunday: “One EU member state is putting the lives and the environment of another at risk. There is no evidence the Irish Government has ever taken this issue seriously, and it is beyond time for them to start. “It must be closed and there should be a halt to construction of any further nuclear power plants near the Irish Sea.”

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Posted: 2 January 2017