Nuclear Electric fined for uncontrolled gas release

A radioactive release from the Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey last summer has brought Nuclear Electric its first convictions for an environmental offence. The company has been fined £34,000 for emitting radioactive gas without considering the environmental consequences or taking steps to minimise the release.

The release occurred on 31 July after a grab weighing 130 pounds fell 40 feet from a fuelling machine, landing on top of a fuel channel in the Magnox reactor. Operators responded by tripping and depressurising the reactor.

Air sampling showed that radioactivity levels in the reactor coolant, carbon dioxide, were abnormally high, and a decision was taken to vent the gas to atmosphere over a two-hour period. A second release was carried out

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