BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 17:49 GMT
British Energy fined for nuclear dumping
Torness power station
The error was made at Torness power station
The nuclear generator British Energy has been fined 15,000 for dumping radioactive waste into the North Sea.

The contaminated water was discharged from Torness nuclear power station, in Scotland, in October 2001.

At Haddington Sheriff Court, the company said a tank had been emptied by mistake by a computer operator who pressed the wrong button.

It said the risk to public health was minimal and procedures have since been tightened up.

It was a mistake but we have strengthened our operating procedures and continue to do so.

William Waddell, Torness station manager

Defence solicitor Andrew Randall said British Energy viewed incidents of this kind with grave concern.

He said the company has been liaising with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and has instituted new procedures costing more than 150,000.

British Energy is permitted to release a certain amount of radioactive low-level waste into the sea provided it is tested to ensure it is below an agreed level.

The court was told that the company had in this case failed to measure the strength of contamination and did breach the Radioactive Substances Act 1993.

'Procedural failure'

Sheriff George Presslie said: "It is common knowledge that radioactivity of any significant strength provides a risk of damage to health of any person who comes in contact with it.

"It seems there was a procedural failure by the company but no risk to any members of the public by virtue of that failure."

William Waddell, station manager at Torness said: "It was a mistake but we have strengthened our operating procedures and continue to do so."

This was the first time in 30 years of operating generating stations that British Energy had been brought before a court.

See also:

13 Aug 02 | Scotland
13 Aug 02 | Business
22 Aug 01 | Scotland
13 Jul 01 | Scotland
08 Jul 01 | Scotland
Internet links:


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

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes