Prosecutor called in by Dounreay power-failure inquiry

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The Independent Online
THE INQUIRY into the troubled Dounreay nuclear plant could lead to a criminal investigation, it emerged last night.

The possibility was conceded by the Crown Office, who confirmed that Scottish prosecuting authorities had been consulted about a recent incident at the plant, on the north coast of Scotland, in which mains power supply was cut.

But the Crown Office spokesman stressed such discussions were "commonplace" in these sort of investigations.

He added: "The inquiry is at a very early stage and it is not possible to say at this point whether any criminal proceedings will result."

The approach, to the Procurator Fiscal at Wick, was made by investigators from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII).

Their inquiry was ordered by the Government into the Caithness plant, operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, after last month's incident.

The Crown Office spokesman added: "The Procurator Fiscal at Wick has been consulted by the NII in relation to the investigation into the recent incident at Dounreay which led to loss of power at the plant."

It is understood charges could be brought either under health and safety legislation or the Nuclear Installations Act.

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