Sellafield Ltd lose appeal

Sellafield ltd has lost its appeal against a £700,000 fine levied against them last year.

Sellafield Ltd accept judgement

Sellafield Ltd have said they 'regret' dumping five bags of low level radio active waste at a landfill site at Workington and that they 'accept responsibility' for the incident.

Today the company lost their high court appeal against a £700,000 fine imposed last year.

We regret this incident and accept our responsibility for what happened. We have strengthened our procedures and must now continue our focus on the safe and secure running of the Sellafield Site.

"We are pleased to see the Court’s recognition that there was no actual harm and indeed a very low risk of harm.

" We are also pleased to see his comment that we made guilty pleas at the first available opportunity, the very considerable cooperation that Sellafield Ltd displayed after the discovery of the failures and that both these factors deserve very considerable credit..."

– Sellafield Ltd spokesperson

Sellafield Ltd 'deserve credit for guilty pleas'

Lord Thomas said that Sellafield deserved very considerable credit for the guilty pleas made at the first available opportunity and the very considerable co-operation it displayed after the discovery of the failures.

In considering the appeal, the court also took into account its previous offences.

The court had regard to its turnover of £1.6 billion - or £30.7 million per week - and its annual profit of £29m - or £560,000 per week.

Lord Thomas said It was clear that viewed in the light of those financial circumstances, a fine of £700,000 after a guilty plea was a fine which reflected a case where the culpability was moderate, the actual harm in effect nil and the risk of harm very low.

"A fine of the size imposed, even though only a little more than a week's profit and about 2% of its weekly income, would, in our view, in the circumstances achieve the statutory purposes of sentencing by bringing home to the directors of Sellafield Ltd and its professional shareholders the seriousness of the offences committed and provide a real incentive to the directors and shareholders to remedy the failures which the judge found existed at the site at Sellafield."

– Lord Thomas, Court of Appeal

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Sellafield loses appeal against radioactive waste fine

Sellafield ltd has lost its appeal against fines levied against them last year.

In February, the company was fined £700,000 for sending bags of radioactive waste to a landfill site.

The bags, which contained waste such as plastic, tissues and clothing, should have been sent to a specialist facility that treats and stores low-level radioactive waste, but a number of management and operational failings led to them being sent to Lillyhall landfill site in Workington, Cumbria.

Today, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, sitting in the Court of Appeal with Mr Justice Mitting and Mrs Justice Thirlwall, said there were no grounds for criticising the level of fines imposed.