[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 February 2006, 13:42 GMT
Sellafield in breach of EU rules
Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant
The EU says Sellafield must tighten up procedures
Accounting and reporting procedures at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria have been criticised by European Commission (EU) inspectors.

While the EU says no nuclear material has gone missing, it says operator British Nuclear Group (BNG) is in breach of strict safeguard standards.

They must ensure nuclear materials "are not diverted from the peaceful uses for which they have been declared."

A 2000 inquiry at the plant found safety records had been falsified.

In a statement BNG said it would study the inspection report carefully.

The EU report said "accounting and reporting procedures presently in place do not fully meet EU standards".

An EU spokesman said: "The commission has also requested BNG to implement the appropriate remedies ... to ensure the adequate quality of its system of accounting for nuclear material."

BNG has held its own inquiry and a review of these safeguards is now being fully implemented
UK Government spokesman

A BNG spokesman said: "We have not yet received any formal notification of such a warning.

"Naturally, we will study the content of any such decision, if and when we receive notification of it from the commission, and consider the appropriate response for the company at that time."

A government spokesman said: "The UK always takes EU nuclear safeguard standards extremely seriously.

"BNG has held its own inquiry and a review of these safeguards is now being fully implemented."

The Sellafield site is one of the largest nuclear engineering centres in the world.

Last year, Sellafield received a separate commission warning about the handling of nuclear waste disposal at the plant.

Under the 1957 Euratom Treaty it is up to EU inspectors to check accounting records of the nuclear material and compare them with the results of on-the-spot inspections.

The EU has said that the main purpose of such inspections is to make sure the nuclear material used is not diverted from peaceful and non-military uses.

EC court challenge to Sellafield
03 Sep 04 |  Cumbria
Bid to allay Sellafield concerns
26 Mar 04 |  Cumbria
Post-Sellafield jobs help sought
17 Mar 04 |  Cumbria

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific