Welsh former nuclear station hit by blaze

A A A

Workers were evacuated from a former nuclear power station yesterday after a spark from a welding torch started a fire.

Workers were evacuated from a former nuclear power station yesterday after a spark from a welding torch started a fire.

Managers said the electrical blaze at the Trawsfynydd plant run by British Nuclear Fuels near Dolgellau in Snowdonia, north Wales, did not result in any radioactive contamination.

Firefighters were called to the Magnox plant, which is in the process of being decommissioned, shortly after 1pm and supervised the evacuation of 150 staff.

A spokesman for BNFL said: "Workmen were carrying out work on a cable duct between the two reactor halls, which are being decommissioned.

"A stray spark got loose and ended up coming into contact with one of the cables.

"There was some thick black smoke but it was not a serious fire and the fire brigade was called out as a standard procedure. There were no casualties and no radioactive material was involved."

North Wales Fire Brigade said the blaze was being treated as an on-site incident rather than a nuclear one and that the evacuation had taken place as a "routine precaution".

The Trawsfynydd plant, which was one of the first generation of Magnox power stations and came into operation in 1965, was closed down in 1993.

Specialist demolition experts have been working to dismantle the site for the last seven years.

Yesterday's fire follows an incident last year when six workers were found to have inhaled plutonium dust while scraping the walls of a concrete cooling pond for spent nuclear fuel at the station.

The men were exposed after particles filtered through the protective body suits and face masks they were wearing to conduct the clean-up.

Tests on the workers' urine found they had ingested caesium and plutonium during the work in June last year. BNFL said that the level of exposure was within safety limits.

But other nuclear specialists said the danger was far greater. "BNFL's models for analysing the radioactive dose are totally wrong", said Chris Busby, of the European Committee on Radiation Risks.

"They dilute the dose across the body but the material is absorbed into the lung and tracheo-bronchial lymph nodes where it gives an enormously high dose to a very small amount of tissue," he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy