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Chemical disposal at Sellafield

Chemicals have been identified as requiring specialist disposal on the Sellafield site.


Aerial of Sellafield site
Aerial of Sellafield site

Chemical disposal at Sellafield – Friday 14 August 2020 - 20:00pm

We can confirm that the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team have now safely and successfully disposed of the organic peroxide chemical package at the Sellafield site.


We would like to thank the EOD and our internal emergency duty teams for their work and our workforce and stakeholders for their understanding and support.


Chemical disposal at Sellafield - Friday 14 August 2020 - 15:45pm

As previously communicated, we are currently working with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team on the Sellafield site to dispose of a small quantity of organic peroxide chemical stored in our Magnox Reprocessing Plant.


The organic peroxide, a chemical used routinely in industry, has been in safe storage, as part of our programme to identify and dispose of historic chemicals on site. During a routine investigation, we noted that the chemical had changed state.


The plan, as advised by EOD, is to burn the chemicals in a prepared incineration pit on a part of the site away from any buildings or infrastructure.


The incineration process may be visible and audible on and off the site. We expect this process to be completed by late afternoon today.


We will issue further communications once the disposal process is complete


Other operations on the site are progressing as normal.


As ever, our priority remains the protection of our workforce, community and the environment.


Chemical disposal at Sellafield - Friday 14 August 2020 - 10:00 am

During a routine inspection of chemical substances stored on the Sellafield site, a small number of chemicals (organic peroxide) were identified as requiring specialist disposal.


This chemical is used for a variety of purposes across many industries.


In line with established procedures, support has been requested from Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD).


The EOD team is now in attendance at the Sellafield site and will dispose of the chemical safely.


Chemical monitoring is undertaken across the site to understand changing chemical states and to inform when and how industrial chemicals should be stored or disposed of.


This chemical substance was stored in the site’s Magnox Reprocessing Plant. The storage area is safely segregated from the nuclear operations of the plant and the risk has been identified as a conventional safety issue rather than a nuclear safety risk.


As a precautionary measure, a controlled evacuation of the Magnox Reprocessing Plant was carried out yesterday in order to investigate the chemical and devise the appropriate course of action. The plant was non-operational at the time.


The plant will remain non-operational while the chemical is disposed of.


As ever, our priority remains the protection of our workforce, community and the environment.

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