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Sellafield In Breach Of Euratom Rules

The operators of the Sellafield plant in Cumbria have been warned that they are in breach of EU rules imposing strict nuclear safeguard standards. British Nuclear Group Sellafield (BNGSL) was urged by the European Commission to step up controls to ensure that nuclear materials \"are not diverted from the peaceful uses for which they have been declared.\" The warning follows a series of Commission inspections at the Sellafield plant, which resulted in a report stating that \"accounting and reporting procedures presently in place at BNGSL do not fully meet Euratom (EU) standards\". But the Commission emphasised in a statement that the warning relates solely to issues of the adequacy of those procedures: \"It does not find that nuclear material was actually lost or diverted from its intended purpose and does not concern the issue of nuclear safety.\" The warning to BNG SL had been accompanied by a request to the company \"to implement the appropriate remedies ... and to ensure the adequate quality of its system of accounting for nuclear material\". Last year, Sellafield received a separate Commission warning about the handling of nuclear waste disposal at its B30 plant. Irish Fine Gael MEP Avril Doyle welcomed the Commission warning over Sellafield. She told the European Parliament in Strasbourg: \"It will come as no surprise that the Commission has found, after a series of inspections carried out at the Sellafield plant, that the accounting and reporting procedures presently in place at British Nuclear Group Sellafield do not fully meet Euratom standards. \"I welcome the European Commission\'s formal warning. The Commission has the task of ensuring that accounting and administrative procedures are in place to ensure that nuclear materials are not diverted from the peaceful uses for which they have been declared to subversive uses in the wrong hands.\" Jean McSorley of Greenpeace said: \"It is obviously extremely worrying that the British Nuclear Group operator of Sellafield, one of the world\'s largest nuclear facilities, is still failing to meet European safeguards standards. This is the second time in as many years that the European Commission has been forced to formally warn the company over appropriate safeguards measures. \"It\'s appalling that after 50 years the industry is breaching safeguards standards. \"In addition to breaches of European requirements, last year BNFL, BNG\'s parent company, conceded that 30 kilos of weapons-usable plutonium was unaccounted for at Sellafield. \"All of this sends a pretty poor message to the public and the international community about the state of the UK nuclear industry and its ability to meet accepted standards. We believe it shows the nuclear industry cannot be trusted to comply with these standards, and any idea that they should be allowed to build even more of these hazardous installations must now be quashed.\"