Harwell faces big bill for landfill pollution clean-up

The UK Atomic Energy Authority has finalised the first stage of its operation to clean up polluted groundwater around its Oxfordshire headquarters. The equipment will cost £700,000 - but the final bill will run to several million pounds.

The contamination at Harwell Laboratory came to light two years ago after Thames Water found carbon tetrachloride in a borehole at the nearby village of Blewbury (ENDS Report 182, p 6). Although the source of this contamination was never proved, investigations turned up two old landfills at Harwell which had both caused extensive groundwater pollution (ENDS Reports 186, p 6 and 196, p 7).

The western site is the more highly contaminated.

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