Sellafield's sea discharge 'will not rise dramatically'
Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE) claims to have “exposed Sellafield plans for substantial increases in radioactive discharges into the Irish Sea over the coming decade.”
CORE also alleges that the rate of discharges and radioactive concentrations in the marine environment will breach international commitments.
But Sellafield’s owners - the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority - told The Whitehaven News: “We categorically deny there will be a substantial increase in radioactive discharges unto the sea.”
The CORE claim is that Sellafield will breach UK government discharge targets agreed in 1998 at the OSPAR convention.
This was that, by 2020, concentrations of (man-made) concentrations of radioactivity in the marine environment above historic levels were close to zero.
But an NDA spokesman hit back: “We have always been committed to full compliance with the OSPAR convention and remain so.
"Indeed technical improvements have significantly reduced dose levels. Sellafield discharges are well within authorisations and doses from discharges are very much below the legal limit.
“Increases in productivity will not, and cannot, be to the detriment of the environment. As such it is incorrect to suggest that the NDA will in any way prejudice our commitment to OSPAR.”
CORE says its assessments highlight “extra pressure piled on Sellafield’s ageing B205 reprocessing plant” and that reprocessing could extend beyond the scheduled 2020.
Campaigner Martin Forwood declared: “The rise in radioactive discharges from what increasingly resembles a crash programme of reprocessing will not only breach UK commitments to OSPAR but also pose a potent threat to international waters.”
The NDA insists that the allegations are untrue.
Source: Whitehaven News