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UK nuclear alert: "naturally occurring radiation"

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posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 11:37 AM
From Yahoo News:

LONDON (AP) — Elevated radiation levels detected Friday at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in northwestern England were caused by naturally occurring background radon, not by any faults at the aging plant, the operating company said. Only essential workers were asked to report for work as safety teams worked to pinpoint the cause of the elevated radiation, which was reported on one monitor in the northern end of the sprawling site — the largest nuclear site in Europe. Sellafield Ltd. said its on-site monitors detected unusual activity overnight, leading it to reduce staffing levels Friday morning as a precaution. "Following investigation and analysis, we can now confirm these levels to be naturally occurring background radon," the company said. The plant was never shut down and there was no evacuation. The company said there had been no risk to public safety. Nuclear reprocessing involves separating uranium and plutonium from nuclear waste for reuse as fuel, and treating the waste for storage. Reprocessing has taken place at Sellafield for more than 50 years.

A facility in operation for 50+ years, the current plant since 1997. But no radon detected until now?

posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 12:23 PM
Yeah, sounds a bit strange but it is possible!

But the Radon Level must be very high to have a bad Effect
on the calculation of the accumulated Dosage in a Year
of the Nuclear Worker and this makes me a bit sceptical!

Star and Flag, Ganbatte!

posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 12:29 PM
reply to post by gb540

But no radon detected until now?

Where does it say no radon was detected until now?

Occasionally, gamma radiation levels can increase temporarily due to a phenomenon called radon washout. This occurs when rain collects radon from the air and deposits it on the ground.

It results in a small - but detectable - increase in the gamma dose rate measurement, which usually lasts no more than few hours. This increase poses no health risk, but may trigger the RPII alarm system – if this happens, the RPII duty officer examines the data to confirm whether or not the gamma dose rate has been caused by radon washout.

edit on 2/1/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 02:00 PM
"No radiation detected till now"??? UH?? Whatever your smoking, share it.

There have been numerous radiation alerts involving Sellafield over the years, since the 70's. All were quite public, none were covered up, all made the national news. Some of them even turned out to be, well not major incidents, but a bit more serious than minor ones.

I think what might have thrown your research off, is that Sellafield actually used to be called Windscale. They changed the name to try and create a better public image. A quick google shows me that in 1957 their #1 reactor actually caught fire, and that was classed as a major incident, releasing massive amounts of radioactive Iodine-131.

The 1957 Windscale (Sellafield) nuclear fire incident

So I'm sorry but its completely inaccurate to say that no radiation has ever been detected at Sellafield until now.

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