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Monday, 24 November 2014

Sellafield in nuclear waste guilty plea

Nuclear firm Sellafield has pleaded guilty to sending several bags of radioactive waste to the wrong facility, according to the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

The company admitted sending four bags of mixed general waste to a landfill site in Workington.
The bags, which contained waste such as plastic, tissues, clothing, should have been sent to a specialist facility in Cumbria.
Sellafield Limited said the error was caused by a new monitor which had passed the bags as "general" waste making them exempt from strict disposal controls.
All of the original four bags were retrieved from the landfill and returned for correct disposal.
Ian Parker, nuclear regulation manager for the Environment Agency, said: "Our overriding aim in regulating the nuclear industry is to protect people and the environment from the release of radioactive wastes into the environment.
"We have carried out a thorough investigation in partnership with the Office for Nuclear Regulation and have already required Sellafield Ltd to take action to ensure this does not happen again.
"This work of decommissioning and clean-up of the site is a national priority and we will continue to work with Sellafield Ltd, fellow regulators and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to ensure that, in meeting this challenge, Sellafield Ltd maintains high standards of environmental performance to protect people and the environment."
Monitoring carried out by the Environment Agency and Sellafield Limited have since confirmed that there was no contamination left at the site or on the landfill equipment.
Sentencing will take place at Carlisle Crown Court on March 8.

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