UK nuclear site detects raised radiation levels

The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site near Seascale in Cumbria, England

The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site near Seascale in Cumbria, England
Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:3AM GMT
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The British nuclear reprocessing plant Sellafield has announced it has detected elevated levels of radioactivity and ordered all non-essential staff to remain at home.

The plant, which is on the coast of the Irish Sea in northwest England, reported the raised levels on Friday.

“As a result of a conservative and prudent decision, the Sellafield site is operating normally but with reduced manning levels today,” Sellafield said in a statement, adding that only essential workers have been asked to come to work.

According to the plant, the levels of radioactivity noticed were above naturally occurring radiation, but the public or the workforce are not in danger and the facilities are operating normally.

“All our facilities have positively confirmed there are no abnormal conditions and are operating normally,” the statement said. “There is no risk to the general public or workforce.”

Meanwhile, the British government has said it is in constant contact with the site but has no reason to believe the incident was any more serious than what Sellafield had reported.

Sellafield processes spent fuel and is undergoing a decommissioning and dismantling program, which is run by a consortium of British company Amec, French group Areva and US firm URS.[More]