Plutonium facilities at the Sellafield nuclear plant do not meet high standards, a watchdog has found. However, work to improve safety and security at the site in north-west England has progressed well during the year, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said. A small number of incidents were recorded, including one case where an operator received radioactive contamination to the hand. Last year, a report from the Irish Republic’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found a serious accident at the plant would lead to people there receiving twice the annual average dose of radiation but would not cause evacuations. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said: “The Analytical Services and Plutonium Facilities (North) have attracted a significantly enhanced attention level as they do not meet the high standards expected from nuclear facilities. “This attention level reflects the nature of the hazard, the magnitude of the risks associated with the complex and the critical role these facilities play in support of Sellafield’s and the UK’s hazard and risk reduction programmes.”
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