Extra security at Sellafield
Last updated at 11:19, Thursday, 14 June 2012
MILLIONS of pounds is to be spent on giving Sellafield an extra 11 miles of security fence to stop terrorists penetrating the nuclear site.
It will be erected only feet inside the existing perimeter fence which was put up – at a cost of around £5 million – after an invasion by dozens of Greenpeace protestors during the 1990s.
The government, through the Department of Energy & Climate Change, has ordered the second fence in the face of a rising threat to “sensitive” installations worldwide from Al Qaeda.
Also for security reasons, it comes at a time when Sellafield Ltd are reducing numbers on the site with up to 2,000 staff being moved off site to work in other locations.
The Whitehaven News understands that the double fence protection is part of overall security improvements costing around a quarter of a billion pounds.
Installation of the “new” fence is already under way – stretching 11 miles around the site as a whole.
Sellafield has round-the-clock protection from Civil Nuclear Authority police who are licensed to carry firearms to protect life and safeguard nuclear materials from attack.
More officers have been recruited, an extra security guard force has recently been added and Cumbria Constabulary will now have a permanent presence on the site.
But despite all the additional resources, the government wants even greater defence in depth to help repel terrorists or protestors, although the Greenpeace activists did not break into any of the operational plants.
It is felt that with the two fences so close together police will have more chance of stopping terrorists and resisting hostile attack.
A Sellafield Ltd spokesman said: “We keep our security arrangements under continuous review to ensure they are effective now and in the future.
“We are currently making some changes which include physical as well as operational enhancements.
“As part of these, we are installing an additional fence, essentially creating a double fence around the site’s perimeter.
“These changes are designed to enhance our existing arrangements and in no way suggests that the security level has changed.”
Planning permission will have to be sought for five areas of the fence.
The site spokesman said: “We’ve already begun discussions with the local authorities and will be looking to submit applications in the coming weeks.”
Coun David Moore, stakeholders emergency sub-committee chairman, said: “The second fence has been requested by the Dept of Energy after risk assessments. It will cost many millions of pounds, but you can’t put a price on security and the money is coming from government funding.
“There is clearly a potential and significant risk having the world’s biggest plutonium stock at Sellafield.
“Protecting the site for the local community is paramount, so anything that will improve security is welcome and as far as I am concerned this is money well spent.”
The installation has brought work for two West Cumbrian firms – Stobbarts and O’Connor Fencing.
First published at 11:08, Thursday, 14 June 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
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Havenman.... read ALL the story eh.
Never mind Ali Bongo, don't forget to keep an eye our for Bono paddling under the fence up the Calder !!
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