BNFL in new row over plutonium shipment
Thursday 30 September 1999
The claims come two weeks after The Independent revealed that checks at the company's Sellafield plant in Cumbria had been falsified. At the time, BNFL insisted that the falsification involved only fuel under production in the UK - not the consignment due to dock in Japan today.
However, an investigation into that fuel, earmarked for the Takahama 4 reactor in Fukui prefecture, has shown that one rogue set of tests might have allowed imperfect mixed plutonium and uranium oxide (MOX) pellets through the safety net. Information supplied by BNFL to the Kansai Electric Power Company, which runs Takahama 4, also shows the British company knew that data had been falsified as early as 20 August, but did not tell Mitsubishi, Kansai's contractor, until 9 September. The Independent had been making inquiries around this date and challenged BNFL on the 10th. Kansai was not told until the 13th, the day before the news broke.
Suggestions that one batch of pellets on board the Pacific Pintail, which is carrying the BNFL MOX, might be suspect follow an examination of data by Professor Hidiyuki Koyama, of Osaka Prefectural University, on behalf of anti-nuclear campaigners. It relates to tests on a batch of 200 pellets, numbered P824, in which 68 bore exactly the same microscopic measurements as their corresponding numbers in the previous batch. The suspicion is that the results were simply copied to save time.
BNFL said Kansai and the Agency of National Resources and Energy in Japan accepted its figures and were happy that the fuel on board Pintail had not been subjected to falsified tests.
- 1 If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
- 4 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 5 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...
£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...
£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...
£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...