Radiation flood shuts UK nuclear plant

On April 20th, British Nuclear Group advised the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority of a failure in the pipe-work found within the Feed Clarification Cell in Thorp. The plant was immediately closed down pending a full investigation, but is in a stable state and there have been no associated discharges to the environment.

Sir Anthony Cleaver, chairman of the NDA, said; “Our first priority is always safety, and we have been reassured that there is no immediate concern on that front. The failure clearly poses a significant problem, and illustrates the scale of the challenge the NDA faces as we seek to form a comprehensive and accurate picture of the assets and liabilities we inherited on April 1st 2005, and to plan our programme of decommissioning.”

“This year’s budget of £2.2 billion is likely to take a hit but it is too early to be absolutely clear by how much and consequently how we will manage the impact and the consequences for the future of the plant.”

The NDA’s Director of Nuclear Safety and Security, Laurence Williams, is an observer on the Board of Inquiry set up by British Nuclear Group to carry out a detailed investigation into the incident.

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