Sellafield nuclear plant faces prosecution after worker exposed to dangerous amounts of radiation

It is the first prosecution taken by the Office for Nuclear Regulation since it was established in 2014

Tom Embury-Dennis
Friday 11 May 2018 11:48 BST
Sellafield Ltd is being prosecuted by the UK's nuclear safety regulator
Sellafield Ltd is being prosecuted by the UK's nuclear safety regulator (PA)

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Nuclear reprocessing plant Sellafield is being prosecuted by the UK's nuclear safety regulator after an employee was exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said it was taking action over an incident in February in which a worker at the facility, which handles special nuclear materials, was contaminated.

A spokesperson for the ONR said: "For legal reasons we are unable to comment further on the details of the case which is now the subject of active court proceedings."

Action will be taken for offences under Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which states: "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees." Proceedings will be held in Workington Magistrates' Court in due course.

It is the first prosecution taken by the ONR since it was established in 2014.

Sellafield is a nuclear decommissioning and fuel reprocessing plant close to the village of Seascale in Cumbria, and is the site of the world's first commercial nuclear power station to generate electricity. It consists of the original nuclear site at Windscale, which is being decommissioned, and its neighbour Calder Hall, which is also undergoing decommissioning.

Additional reporting by PA

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