You are here: Isle of Man > Isle of Man News
Isle of Man News
General News
New Safety Doubts over Sellafield Thorp Plant due to Design Faults and Operating Errors 30 June 2005

    A British Nuclear Group report into the recent leak of highly radioactive material at the Sellafield THORP plant, has confirmed Isle of Man Government’s long held suspicion, that operational safety at Sellafield was always vulnerable to mechanical faults and inevitable human error. Isle of Man Government believes that the Board of Inquiry report, just published, casts doubt on the original safety case for operating THORP. This is due to the uncertainties over design faults in plant equipment, metal fatigue in pipe-work and the now admitted vulnerability of the plant’s control instrumentation to human error.

    Isle of Man Government has already informed the UK Government’s Department of Constitutional Affairs of its concern, and believes the THORP plant should be permanently closed as a result of the serious incident, first discovered on 19th April 2005.

    The internal inquiry report states that unknown to the THORP plant’s operators, highly radioactive material had been leaking from cracked pipe-work into a containment cell for many months possibly since August 2004. Fortunately, a secondary containment vessel at the THORP plant prevented any escape of radioactivity and so there was no off-site impact. The outcome reveals a worrying degree of complacency in the safety procedures. A separate report from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is now awaited, before the full safety implications for any future operations at the THORP plant will be known.

    Environment Minister, John Rimington MHK, commenting on publication of British Nuclear Group’s internal Board of Inquiry report said:

    ‘Some of the statements made in this report really do undermine confidence in the operational safety of the THORP plant. Metal fatigue and equipment breakdown must occur to some extent in every industrial activity. However with THORP, it seems too great a reliance has been placed on rigorous checks on instruments and monitoring equipment to keep the plant safe – there is always the potential for human error and in my opinion the risk of an accident is too great to justify the claimed economic benefits of nuclear fuel reprocessing at Sellafield.’

    30th June 2005

    More stories >>>  

    Related News Articles
    UK Measles Outbreak: The Need for Action Now 23 April 2013
    The UK Measles Outbreak continues in South Wales and other parts of the UK. [More]
    Chief Minister's statement to the House of Keys on support for the Sefton Group 23 April 2013
    Mr SpeakerIn the absence of the Economic Development Minister on Government business, I and the Treasury Minister gave a presentation on Friday to Members of Tynwald on the reasons for Council of Ministers’ decision to support the Sefton Group. [More]
    Public Services Commission Consultation 22 April 2013
    In line with Government’s Agenda for Change programme and in particular its policy to reduce bureaucracy, the Civil Service Commission has launched a public consultation on the proposal to establish a Public Services Commission (PSC). [More]
    Government acts to protect local economy and jobs 19 April 2013
    GOVERNMENT is backing the financial restructuring of a prominent Island business group to help protect the local economy, Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK announced today (Friday April 19, 2013). [More]
    Isle of Man signs Double Taxation Agreement with Luxembourg 18 April 2013
    As part of the Isle of Man Government’s ongoing programme of signing Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) and Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs), the Isle of Man has signed a comprehensive DTA with Luxembourg. [More]

    Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World