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Sellafield's Facilities are a Shambles

A shock Report, by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate  reveals that Sellafield's .facilities for handling nuclear waste are a shambles and that its safety procedures for preventing accidents – which could kill hundreds of thousands of Britons – are "not fully adequate".

After reprocessing, highly dangerous radioactive liquid waste is concentrated through evaporation and stored above ground in 21 giant steel tanks before being "vitrified" – bound into glass for disposal. But the Report shows that every stage of this process is in crisis.

Two of the three evaporators have been shut due to safety problems, and there are continuing "difficulties" with vitrification. But the most alarming issue is the failure of equipment needed to cool the waste, which could, at worst, lead to an explosion, scattering radioactivity across much of the country. Studies suggest that for every tank that exploded 210,000 people would die from cancer.

The Report also reveals "poor housekeeping standards" in the waste stores, that vital safety inspections are "not fully effective", and it condemns "lack of focus" on "emergency arrangements and fire safety".

Sellafield accepts the Report's findings, but says it has "strengthened management arrangements" and made "improvements" to the plant. This fails to impress the independent nuclear expert John Large, who said: "The Government wants to build new nuclear power stations, but the backend of the process, which deals with their waste, is a shambles."

A shock Report, by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate  reveals that Sellafield's .facilities for handling nuclear waste are a shambles and that its safety procedures for preventing accidents – which could kill hundreds of thousands of Britons – are "not fully adequate".

After reprocessing, highly dangerous radioactive liquid waste is concentrated through evaporation and stored above ground in 21 giant steel tanks before being "vitrified" – bound into glass for disposal. But the Report shows that every stage of this process is in crisis.

Two of the three evaporators have been shut due to safety problems, and there are continuing "difficulties" with vitrification. But the most alarming issue is the failure of equipment needed to cool the waste, which could, at worst, lead to an explosion, scattering radioactivity across much of the country. Studies suggest that for every tank that exploded 210,000 people would die from cancer.

The Report also reveals "poor housekeeping standards" in the waste stores, that vital safety inspections are "not fully effective", and it condemns "lack of focus" on "emergency arrangements and fire safety".

Sellafield accepts the Report's findings, but says it has "strengthened management arrangements" and made "improvements" to the plant. This fails to impress the independent nuclear expert John Large, who said: "The Government wants to build new nuclear power stations, but the backend of the process, which deals with their waste, is a shambles."