– sellafield ltd
Sellafield Ltd can confirm that the radioactivity detected by one of our in-air monitors overnight is not attributable to any issue or problem with any of our operations on site.
Our in-air monitors are extremely sensitive and pick up on any abnormality. Overnight the monitoring system initially indicated elevated levels of activity. Following investigation and analysis, we can now confirm these levels to be naturally occurring background radon.
The World Nuclear Association, which promotes civil nuclear energy, reports that Sellafield has put the elevated radioactivity reading down to "variations in natural background".
#Sellafield confirm elevated readings detected overnight were due to variations in natural background, not due to Sellafield plant.
Irish officials have been in contact with Britain over raised levels of radioactivity at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant, the government has said.
Only around 112 miles (180km) separates the nuclear site from the coast of Ireland.
"Officials from the Department of the Environment have been in contact with their UK counterparts ... and will receive updates throughout the day," the Irish government said in a statement.
Professor Richard Wakeford, professor of epidemiology at the University of Manchester, has said that the level of radioactivity detected at Sellafield is not above that "encountered in everyday life".
– Professor Richard Wakeford, University of Manchester
From the information currently available, it appears that an elevated level of radioactivity has been detected at the north of the site, but that it is at a low level above normal.
Such a level would not pose a risk to health that is more than encountered in everyday life, but until the cause of this increase has been identified, for example, what type of radioactive materials are responsible, the Sellafield management have told non-essential staff not to come into work.
No risk to the work force or the public, and no evidence of a nuclear event. All measures taken as a precaution http://t.co/5S6HJozGMz
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has said it is too early to say whether there is a leak at the Sellafield site, but stressed that there was no danger to the public.
It added that it is still not clear where the radiation is coming from.
One Sellafield worker told the Press Association that an air sampler on a perimeter fence had detected a problem, which led to staff being told to stay away.
It is understood nothing has been detected inside the plant.
The World Nuclear Association, which promotes civil nuclear energy, reports that there are more than 20 radiation sensors at Sellafield, and only one of them is giving an elevated reading.
Precautionary approach at Sellafield. One sensor out of 20+ giving elevated reading. http://t.co/kXRe28Xifh
One worker said that only safety and essential staff were in work today.
He said other employees had been told not to turn up for work, but had not been given any details of what had happened at Sellafield.
He estimated that thousands of workers were affected.
The operator of the Sellafield nuclear site has said that the elevated levels of radioactivity pose "no risk to the general public or workforce".
A new statement says the decision to tell all but essential workers to stay home was made in order to "focus on investigation and avoid disruption on and off the site".
It added that the incident would not have prompted an evacuation if it had happened during the working day.