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Sellafield fined £700,000 for radioative waste mistake

Sellafield has been fined £700,000 for sending bags of radioactive waste to a landfill site in Cumbria. The bags containing waste such as plastic, tissues and clothing were sent to Lillyhall landfill site in Workington in April 2010.

The bags should have been sent to a specialist facility. Sellafield found the error was caused by the wrong configuration of a new monitor which passed the bags as "general" waste making them exempt from strict disposal controls.

This breached the conditions of Sellafield's environmental permit and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations.

While this incident did not lead to any significant harm being caused to the public or to the environment, the failings by Sellafield Ltd that led to the incident were serious and we consider that on this occasion, Sellafield Ltd fell well short of the high standards which we expect from them."

– Ian Parker, nuclear regulation manager, Environment Agency

Sellafield Limited deeply regrets this incident and we want to assure our stakeholders we've put in additional controls and checks and balances to ensure that any risks from future occurrences is mitigated. Also, any kind of impact to the environment was low.

– Tom Foster, Executive Director, Sellafield Limited