Friday, January 31, 2014

Elevated levels of radiation at Sellafield - New Germany

In the British reprocessing plant at Sellafield unusually high levels of radioactivity has been measured.

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views from the village of Seascale on the coolness towers of nuclear power plant Sellafield

Photo: AFP / Odd Andersen

10 000 employees of the nuclear complex at Sellafield in northwest England said on Friday, to stay at home. The reason for this extraordinary measure: it had been measured in the north of the sprawling complex excessive levels of radioactivity, informed the company that operates the Sellafield Ltd. with. But if it were not for a leak, but to natural background radiation from radon. Cause for concern, therefore, not give it. “If this had happened during a working day, we would have sent people normally go home.” There was no risk to public or employees. The system worked normal, albeit with reduced crew. On Monday, all employees would normally expect to serve.

the Department of Energy in London gave the all-clear. “We are in constant contact with Sellafield,” said a spokesman told the BBC. “But we have no reason to assume that this is serious when they say it.” Nevertheless, the company that operates the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna informed on the measure.

nuclear complex at Sellafield is located in north-west England on the Irish Sea. On the grounds is the 1963 commissioned in 2003 and decommissioned nuclear power plant in Windscale. Sellafield has since been used exclusively for the storage of nuclear waste and reprocessing of used fuel. Also, here uranium / plutonium mixed oxide fuel elements are manufactured. Also send German power plant operators used fuel rods for reprocessing to Sellafield. On the grounds are still quite a few Castor with highly radioactive waste to be transported back to Germany.

It is not the first time that the nuclear complex in Cumbria had an unscheduled return to the Irish Sea to operate. Due to the snow storm and had to be temporarily suspended work in March 2013. At the time, a spokesman told the BBC television that it had sent the workers due to weather conditions back home, so they should arrive too sure there. The huge Sellafield site consists of a total of 1,300 buildings. On the grounds there are, among others, a nuclear power plant and a reprocessing plant.

But a real burden Sellafield could be if it had to be removed one day. 2013 has estimated the cost at 68 billion pounds (83 billion euros) a committee of the British House of Commons. Before the area was cultivated with nuclear reactors, fuel reprocessing plants and factories since the late 1940s, it housed a munitions factory. No one knows exactly what types of waste stored there yet.

the time of the recent incident is extremely inappropriate for the British government. Because also on Friday, the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron met with French President Fran├žois Hollande – among other things, to discuss enhanced cooperation in the field of nuclear power. Among other things, the French company EDF to build a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in the county of Somerset in the south west of England – the first new building in the UK for decades. Here are also Chinese investors on board. The EU Commission has, however, initiated a procedure against the financing of the construction. She suspects prohibited State aid, because the operators is a very high current price guaranteed.

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