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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Sellafield cull seagull eggs

Seagull eggs are being destroyed at Sellafield to control the bird population amid radiation fears

Gull photo
Seagull eggs are being destroyed at Sellafield due to radiation fears

Seagull eggs are being destroyed A specialist company is pricking the eggs in a bid to keep the numbers down.

A Sellafield spokesman said that the action is running successfully.

He said this meant other methods of keeping numbers down – such as culling with poisoned bait – are not being looked at for the immediate future.

It was reported in national newspapers this week that an intensive culling programme was being considered at the site as bosses struggled to tackle the ever-increasing numbers of seagulls.

But the spokesman strongly denied this and said that there has been a 30 to 40 per cent year on year reduction in the number of gulls on the site, which proves that the egg-pricking has been helping.

He added that if the company needs to look at further culling methods in the future, it will do.

Gulls flying around the site can become contaminated with radioactivity if they fly into open fuel storage ponds. But the spokesman stressed any contamination is so low that it would not pose a threat to public health.

“We are aware of the potential for gulls to become contaminated with low levels of radioactivity as a result of the operations at Sellafield,” he said.

Martin Forwood, of Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment, said: “There are a lot of old, open-top ponds at Sellafield and seagulls go and swim in them. They then go off the site – they don’t stay at Sellafield.”

At the moment, there are 350 animal carcasses, mostly of birds, kept in an industrial freezer on the site, while the company finds somewhere suitable to put them. Under Environment Agency rules, any animal that dies within the Sellafield perimeter fence must be treated as nuclear waste, because it may have been exposed to radiation.

Have your say

Lofoten mot Sellafield, Bellona and Sellafield Ltd have held their latest conference 3 March 2010 on nuclear waste and safety in Europe and Sellafield at which concerns from Nordic states were heard and reassurances were received from Sellafield Ltd about the safe operation of the UK nuclear site.

The joint conference in Brussels continued a programme of positive and constructive dialogue that commenced in 2001 and has led to a 95% reduction from Sellafield of sea discharges of Technetium 99.

The dialogue has also created a very effective forum for information exchange, understanding concerns, hearing different perspectives and building trust between Sellafield and Nordic states.

The conference was attended by elected representatives and members of local communities from the UK, Norway and Sweden, as well as technical experts, safety regulators and Nuclear Management Partners, the new management of Sellafield Ltd. The conference focused on nuclear safety, environmental impacts and the oversight by national and international regulators, including the European Commission.

Audun Garberg of the Norway Ministry for the Environment, Marit Tennfjord from Nordland County Counsil and Jan Lindholm from Nordic Counsil expressed their concerns about the hazards at Sellafield and the safety culture of the site.

Stuart MacVean from Sellafield Ltd, provided reassurances of the new management's focus on improving safety performance and reducing hazards.

The conference heard that the operation and decommissioning of Sellafield were issues of great political and public concern for the population in the Nordic countries and for the community around Sellafield.

Providing a further layer of scrutiny, the European Council undertakes to maintain a high level of nuclear safety across the European Union, including at Sellafield. Its nuclear safety and radioactive waste directives, which are based broadly on international conventions to which Norway is a signatory, stress the need to monitor the security and the safety of nuclear installations and to effectively manage wastes. It calls for regular reports from Member States' atomic energy experts, who will maintain close contact with the Commission.

This broad approach to independently ensuring openness and transparency at Sellafield will provide a rigorous basis on which future discussions can take place.

It was agreed that dialogue will continue in order to maintain productive relationships between Sellafield, Lofoten mot Sellafield and Bellona. To maintain the transparency with Sellafield Ltd, meetings will continue annually for regular updates, with the next conference being held in Lofoten next year and at Sellafield the year after that. This will enable our politicians and experts to continue the positive dialogue about nuclear safety to recieve the latest developments and plans regarding the safety at Sellafield and Thorp.

Lofoten mot Sellafield and Bellona have had focused on the safety of nuclear installations at Sellafield since 2001. Bellona will continue to work with Sellafield and will seek to increase their resources for their work.

Posted by Per-Kaare Holdal on 7 March 2010 at 17:55

i work on sellafield and have see a monitor put a probe on a seagull nest and it jump off the scale, how can this exposure be safe??????????????

Posted by ? on 27 February 2010 at 11:39

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