Safety at Sellafield: The other side of the story

Sellafield’s safety record came under close scrutiny in BBC’s Panorama this past week, highlighting the concerns of a whistle-blower.

Sellafield’s safety record was in the news this week after Panorama reporter Richard Bilton brought the concerns of a whistle-blower to senior Sellafield management.

Sellafield, the largest nuclear site in Europe, has the complex job of containing and reprocessing hazardous spent nuclear fuel and waste, and as such, safety is the top priority of the site.

While sensationalising past incidents and highlighting the risks inherent with the job of managing nuclear waste, the broadcast glossed over the recent improvements to safety procedures at Sellafield, particularly over the past three years, during which time significant progress has been made.

In fact, Sellafield recently won nine gold medals in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) awards, which are the UK’s most sought after safety awards.

Millbank has supported Sellafield and its contractors over the years through our technical recruitment services and has always recognised the high calibre of candidates the site demands.

Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) have responded to the BBC’s Panorama broadcast, stating that “despite giving BBC Panorama access to Sellafield and spending a significant amount of time explaining complex issues, the programme painted a negative picture of safety that we do not recognise.”

In a separate statement, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said that “as the independent nuclear regulator, we set very high standards throughout the industry and we have seen Sellafield make significant progress in recent years.”

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