Whistleblower deckt desaströse Zustände in Sellafield auf – Britische Atomüberwachungsbehörde beschwichtigt

Ende Oktober veröffentlichte das britische Umweltmagazin „The Ecologist“ Fotos und Informationen eines Insiders, wie Brennstäbe in Sellafield unter freiem Himmel „gelagert“ werden, welche seit den 1970-igern scheinbar ohne jegliche Aufsicht und Wartung der Kühlbecken und technischen Anlagen vor sich hin rotten. Schon allein die Fotos sprechen Bände und hinterlassen Sprachlosigkeit und Entsetzen, wie in sogenannten „fortschrittlichen, verantwortungsvollen Industrieländern“ mit der Atommüll-Problematik umgegangen wird. Nicht mal von 40 Jahren verantwortungsvollem Umgang mit dieser Zeitbombe, die noch mehrere hunderttausend Jahre ticken wird, kann man ausgehen. Hat eigentlich jedes Atomland seine „Asse“? ..die Fassade bröckelt, die Fratze zeigt sich. Atommüll unterwegs mit dem Reisebüro „Aus den Augen aus dem Sinn“…

The Ecologist-Artikel

The Ecologist-Artikel

Antwort der britischen Atom“aufsichts“behörde:

Office of Nuclear Regulation response

Several days prior to publication The Ecologist contacted the Office of Nuclear Regulation, the statutory nuclear safety regulator, with pressing questions about the safety of the site, safety plans in the event of water loss or radioactive release, and whether anyone will be prosecuted over the abandonment of the ponds in this highly dangerous condition.

We have now received their replies:

ONR: „Sellafield is ONR’s highest regulatory priority and receives a significantly enhanced level of regulatory attention. It is also a recognised national priority to reduce the hazard and risk at Sellafield in a safe and timely manner.

„We are focusing significant regulatory attention on retrieval of legacy material from the legacy ponds as we recognise the high hazard and risk that these facilities present.“

TE: Are you satisfied that these nuclear installation are safe and ‚fit for purpose‘?

ONR: „The legacy facilities at Sellafield were built in the 1950s and 1960s and therefore don‘t meet modern engineering standards. Additionally, the legacy facilities were not designed with retrievals of material or decommissioning in mind.

„This does not mean that operations and activities on these facilities are unsafe, but it highlights the need for Sellafield Ltd to retrieve the legacy material in a safe manner as quickly as reasonably possible.

„Our new regulatory approach is aimed at encouraging and facilitating this objective. We are working collaboratively with other key stakeholders to focus priorities and help drive improvements at Sellafield.

„The new strategy and collaborative working approach is having a positive impact on hazard and risk reduction, particularly in relation to the Pile Fuel Storage Pond where we have enabled the acceleration of removal of legacy canned fuel by four months. We expect this approach to enable Sellafield Ltd to retrieve further legacy material from these facilities ahead of schedule.“

TE: Given that the operator essentially abandoned these ponds around 1974, is any person (real or corporate) to be prosecuted?

ONR: „ONR is not considering enforcement action in relation to the complex historical chain of events leading to the current situation at Sellafield but instead is focusing, together with other key stakeholders, on accelerating the reduction of hazard and risk on site, and how we can do that quickly and safely.

„The ONR’s top priority is ensuring that Sellafield Ltd maintains or improves upon its delivery programme for the remediation and decommissioning of the legacy facilities so that materials are removed as quickly and safely as possible“

TE: Do these ponds satisfy Safety Assessment Principles for new nuclear plant?

ONR: „The legacy ponds at Sellafield are old and as a result, do not meet the high engineering standards that would be required for modern nuclear facilities. These legacy ponds bring significant challenge, but we must focus our attention on improving the current situation.

„This does not mean that operations and activities on those facilities are unsafe, and ONR has in place a robust inspection regime to ensure that the licensee is doing all that is reasonably practicable to ensure that operations continue to remain safe.“

TE: Has ONR put in place any special measures under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2000?

ONR: „The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001, (REPPIR) require operators to assess the hazards on site and submit a report of this assessment to ONR. As the operator, Sellafield Ltd are required to do this.

„This information, along with any additional information ONR may request, is used to determine the need for, and the extent of, the area requiring the local authority to produce an off-site emergency plan to protect the public in the unlikely event of a radiation emergency.“

TE: Has the operator given ONR a hazard report relating to B29 and B30?

ONR: „ONR is fully aware of the hazard and risk associated with all facilities at the Sellafield site, and has an on-going programme of inspections. These ensure that Sellafield Ltd is complying with its statutory obligations to protect the public and workers from the hazards on the site.

TE: Have risks associated with these buildings been incorporated into ONR report and placed in the public domain?

ONR: „ONR aims to be open and transparent in publishing our regulatory findings, and we routinely publish our regulatory decisions through project assessment reports and intervention records written by inspectors following site inspections.

„We also produce a quarterly report for the West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group, which summarises our regulatory activity at Sellafield. There may be instances where it is not appropriate for us to publish certain reports, primarily as they may contain sensitive security information.“

TE: Does Cumbria’s offsite emergency plan address the risks posed by B29 and B30?

ONR: „Under REPPIR, Sellafield Ltd are required to assess the hazards on site and submit a report of this assessment to ONR. This covers the whole site.“

TE: It is reported that the ponds are leaking. Can you confirm this, and can you reveal where any leakage is going?

ONR: „ONR is not aware of any leaks from the ponds.“

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