View Full Version : Sellafield Leak ?

12th May 2005, 08:19
I'm in Switzerland.

There's been a news story in the Swiss Media of a fairly hefty leak of radioactivity at Sellafield earlier this week - also reported in Norway.

I've searched the UK media and found no mention of it whatsoever.

Seems the leak was fairly bad - although contained.

So what's with the reporting blackout in the UK ? - Or have I (doh!) missed the story ?


12th May 2005, 08:28

We're not supposed to know about it. :ok:

12th May 2005, 08:30
You missed it. Twas in the Times, Guardian, Sun, Torygraph etc etc... e.g.

Times: May 09 - Radioactive leak closes £2bn nuclear reprocessing plant

PART of the huge Sellafield nuclear site has been closed after a leak of highly radioactive nuclear fuel.

About 20 tonnes of uranium and plutonium dissolved in concentrated nitric acid escaped through a cracked pipe into a huge stainless steel chamber which is too dangerous for humans to enter. The leak, at the Thorp reprocessing plant, was discovered last month during an automated inspection. Repairing the pipes and recovering the spilled liquids is expected to take months and may need special robots, which will have to be built. The British Nuclear Group, which runs the site, said last night that the leak posed no danger to the public, the environment or to Sellafield’s employees.

The closure of the £2.1 billion plan will have serious financial implications for the taxpayer. The Thorp plant generates about £1 million a day which is used to finance the cleanup of redundant nuclear facilities. Most of the leaked material is uranium but it also contains about 440lb (200kg) of plutonium, enough to make 20 nuclear weapons. That must be recovered and accounted for to conform to international safeguards aimed at preventing nuclear materials falling into the wrong hands. Once the liquid has been siphoned off it will have to be stored until the plant can be repaired, but a method of doing this has yet to be devised.

The future of the nuclear industry is a sensitive issue, with Tony Blair having to decide whether to build a new generation of nuclear power stations. Despite a programme of wind farm construction, Britain is struggling to meet its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent of 1990 levels by 2010, while generating capacity will also be hit by the rundown of some of Britain’s coal-fired power stations.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) took over ownership of Sellafield from British Nuclear Fuels on April 1 and has a £2.2 billon cleanup budget for its first year. In 12 years Thorp has reprocessed 5,644 tonnes of fuel, missing its first ten-year target, of 7,000 tonnes. Last year it managed 590 tonnes, again missing a target, of 725 tonnes.

But Martin Forwood, of Cumbrians Opposed to Radioactive Environment, said that the NDA had been “naive” in placing trust on income from Thorp, given its track record. “Reprocessing is blatantly incompatible with the official cleanup remit of the NDA, which will now find itself out of pocket as a result of the latest Thorp accident. The new owners would do the taxpayer the greatest service by putting Thorp out of its misery and closing it once and for all.”

12th May 2005, 08:32
Don't worry,

It can't be as bad as the collapsing waste shaft at Douneray!!

12th May 2005, 08:37
So where in the Swiss Media are you finding this story?

I can find no mention in the NZZ or Tages Anzeiger.

Wo isch 's?

12th May 2005, 08:38
Thanks ORAC - thought it would be you to find it !

Arcniz - saw it on SF1 teletext actually...

I'll close the case


12th May 2005, 08:43
these people are full of poo!:mad:

well, not you guys:P.

the journo's :rolleyes:

12th May 2005, 09:42
I flew past there on Tuesday, wondered why I was glowing in the dark. :p

12th May 2005, 10:22
Dear all,

There is also the issue of a major planned multi-national drill being run at a Romanian nuclear plant.

This is getting a lot of press in Europe.

Furthermore, the Germans have just turned off another reactor prior to commencing decommissioning.



tony draper
12th May 2005, 10:43
Hmmm,prolly be a few bearded chaps with buckets at the gate asking the clean up crew to wring their mops out in their buckets.
Why don't we do the obvious thing and convert this waste into those 20 nukes then?, yer can never have enough nukes.

12th May 2005, 12:51
Sellafield leeks are reputed to grow (or should that be glow?) in the dark...

12th May 2005, 16:29
Drapes, repeat after me P R O B A B L Y, not prolly....P R O B A B L Y, not prolly...

12th May 2005, 16:31
Is this the same leak Onan went for the other night?