Probe launched into N-plant equipment damage

An investigation is under way into the deliberate damage of equipment at a nuclear power plant, it emerged tonight.

Officials at the Sellafield plant in Cumbria confirmed they have asked the UK Atomic Energy Authority Police to probe the cutting of cables on a robotic arm on a maintenance tool.

A spokeswoman for the plant refused to speculate on claims there was a saboteur among the 10,000 workforce.

She said: "The investigation began last month after the attack on the maintenance tool, which is not a safety related piece of equipment.

"I can not comment further until the investigation is complete."

Six master slave manipulators were put out of use after wire cables, which allow machines to be operated from a remote location, were cut.

The spokeswoman concluded: "BNFL takes this issue very seriously and the company will initiate appropriate proceedings if any individual or individuals are proven to have caused this damage deliberately."

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