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Nuclear safety incidents in UK, as inspection numbers fall

Four nuclear safety incidents reported to ministers in 2021 as inspection
numbers fall. Incidents included a reactor shutdown in Lancashire, a fire
at Sellafield, and a package of radioactive material found in a London
street. Four nuclear safety incidents were reported to UK Government
ministers due to their severity last year, i can reveal, with experts
raising fears over the declining number of inspections.

In the most serious
safety breach, on 22 July, the Heysham One nuclear power station in
Lancashire had a complete loss of 400kV power after a National Grid
transformer failed. Both reactors tripped automatically and were cooled and
safely shut down, according to an Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)
report.

On 11 September, a package of radioactive materials was found in
the street by a member of the public after being lost in transit between
two London hospitals. The ONR said there was no risk to the public or the
environment.

Two incidents at Sellafield in Cumbria also met ministerial
reporting criteria under nuclear safety laws. An analysis of reports from
the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) revealed the four incidents in
2021, which met ministerial reporting criteria under nuclear safety laws.

The overall number of Incident Notification Forms documenting security
issues at UK nuclear facilities was 368 in the first 10 months of last
year. This is 72 per cent higher than the 214 submitted in 2018. However,
the number of nuclear security inspections carried out by the ONR appears
to have fallen. Data shows there were 136 inspections up to 17 December
2021, compared with 169 in 2019. The Heysham One incident, which was stood
down after 16 hours, was rated as level 2 – the third lowest on the
International Nuclear Event Scale, which ranges from zero to seven. The
report said there were “no radiological consequences”.

 iNews 4th April 2022

https://inews.co.uk/news/uk-nuclear-safety-incidents-heysham-sellafield-office-nuclear-regulation-1552075

April 5, 2022 - Posted by | incidents, UK

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