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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

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N-plant ‘shutdown’ leads to an inquiry

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after bosses at Sellafield implemented a “controlled shutdown” at its reprocessing plant.

By Sarah Robinson

Sellafield Limited say Magnox plant was closed down on February 23 because of what officials say was an “anomaly in the chemical process”.

The facility deals with fuel from Britain’s early nuclear reactors. An initial probe has suggested the problem was a blockage of a chemical agent in part of the system.

Senior managers at Sellafield say that there was no risk to workers or the public.

Two investigations into other incidents on the site are ongoing, they said.

In early February, thousands of Sellafield staff were told to stay away from the site because an “elevated level of radiation” was detected overnight by a perimeter alarm.

The site operated on reduced manning levels throughout the day, while investigations were carried out by safety staff.

It was discovered that the radioactivity detected was naturally occurring background radon.

Sellafield said it was not due to any issue or problem with operations on site.

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