Higher radioactivity levels 'not attributable' to Sellafield site

The operators of the Sellafield nuclear site have said that elevated levels of radioactivity detected this morning are 'not attributable' to any operations at the complex. All non-essential staff were asked to stay home this morning as a precaution.

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Sellafield: Elevated radioactivity 'not attributable' to site

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.

– sellafield ltd

Sellafield 'says reading due to variations in natural background'

The World Nuclear Association, which promotes civil nuclear energy, reports that Sellafield has put the elevated radioactivity reading down to "variations in natural background".

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Irish government in contact with UK over Sellafield

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.

Higher radiation levels 'encountered in everyday life'

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".

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.

– Professor Richard Wakeford, University of Manchester

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Sellafield incident poses 'no risk to the general public'

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.

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