Brussels to prod UK over Sellafield

The UK government is under pressure from the European Commission to allow freer access to the Sellafield nuclear power plant.

The Commission says there has been a “continuous failure” over almost 20 years to maintain accurate and accessible operating records for all nuclear material at the B30 site in Cumbria.

The Commission wants full access to B30, the site which stores radioactive waste under water in large concrete ponds.

The Commission will ask the government and British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) – which oversees operations at Sellafield – to submit a full report to Brussels in May.

Brussels wants to know the exact quantity of plutonium waste stored in the outdoor concrete ponds.

The Commission said it was looking to Britain to set the standard in nuclear safety ahead of May 1st, the date when 10 new accession countries join the EU.

Britain could be fined if the request is ignored after the May 30th deadline.

BNFL could face sanctions “proportionate to the severity of the infringements”.