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A radioactive leak that could have caused Britain's worst nuclear disaster was only averted when a worker in an adjoining room spotted water as he sorted laundry, according to a newly-obtained official report.
More than 40,000 gallons of radioactive water leaked into the open when a 15ft crack appeared in a pipe leading to a cooling pond in the Sizewell A reactor in January 2007.
If the worker had not spotted it, the pool, which contained 5,000 spent uranium fuel rods, could have run dry, causing the rods to ignite which would have sparked a supercharged radioactive fire, it was claimed.
Despite the potential severity of the incident, no one has been fined or prosecuted.