Bosses at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant have ‘gone cold’ on the possibility of a pay deal as a one day strike by more than 1,100 craft workers on Tuesday (7 November) is set to go-ahead. Unite, the country’s largest union which represents maintenance staff and electricians, said that the management had now ‘gone cold’ on talks after a round of ‘positive talks’ – and the union blamed ‘the unseen hand’ of government ministers for the intransigence. The 24 hour strike is due start at 06.00 on Tuesday over the ‘completely unacceptable’ 1.5 per cent pay offer imposed by Sellafield Ltd – a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) company – in September, backdated to 1 April.
Unite 1st Nov 2017 read more »
Workers at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria plan to strike after their union accused management of “going cold” on attempts to reach a pay deal.
BBC 2nd Nov 2017 read more »
It is difficult to determine whether it’s the result of Halloween or an approaching Bonfire Night, but there is something suspiciously spooky about Sellafield’s explanation of the recent incidents involving the Bomb Squad being called to the site late on a dark Friday night to deal with hazardous chemicals. Whatever it was that prompted the evacuation of workers from the site’s Analytical Services Laboratory, throwing a 100 metre cordon around the facility and shouting for the explosive experts, remains something of a mystery. Such procedures may well, as Sellafield puts it, ‘be in line with best practice and established procedures’ as per the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations (COSHH). But they singularly fail to explain why a batch of canisters, containing no longer used chemical solvents including tetrahydrofuran, should suddenly turn rogue and require immediate zapping by explosive experts. They had, after all, been stored safely in the lab for the last 25 years. Perhaps the canisters were corroding or leaking. Perhaps the chemicals were unexpectedly found to be in an unstable condition that posed a risk of explosion and fire when crystalized and exposed to air – a commonplace outcome with tetrahydrofuran in labs worldwide as any website trawl will testify. Such details have not of course been disclosed by Sellafield but, whatever the cause for the panic, the chemicals were removed from the facility and placed in specially dug trenches somewhere on site and blown up the following afternoon by the experts. The detonations were audible outside the site.
CORE 1st Nov 2017 read more »