Sellafield Ltd pleads guilty to breach of health and safety

Sellafield Ltd Credit: ITV Border

Sellafield Ltd has pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety at the West Cumbrian nuclear site which led to a worker being exposed to levels of plutonium above the legal limits.

Carlisle Crown Court has heard that Sellafield worker Jonathan Greggain was contaminated while working with a so-called glovebox which should have kept his hands protected.

However a corroded probe had become “a sharpened object” within the glovebox and it allowed the radioactive material to come into contact with his left hand.

It led to an area of skin, the size of a 5p piece being affected, which had to be removed. Further tests found that he also had sustained an internal dose of radiation.

The prosecution said Sellafield had failed to put in place a safe system of working and hadn’t identified the risk of corrosion in an acidic environment.

It said the victim would have a small increased risk of cancer as a result of the exposure.

Sellafield Ltd has apologised for what happened. Its barrister told the court it wanted to express “deep regret and remorse for this incident.”

Sentencing of Sellafield Ltd is expected later today.