§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the accident early in January at British Nuclear Fuels' Sellafield plant involving spillage of a litre of plutonium-contaminated solvent; when his Department was informed of the incident; and what radiological contamination occurred.
§ Mr. Eggar
The incident in question occurred in the Magnox reprocessing plant at Sellafield on 12 January when liquor overflowed into an instrument feed cabinet. Approximately one litre of the liquor, containing about a gramme of plutonium, leaked out of the cabinet and on to the floor below. The leak affected a small area of the workplace and was subsequently cleaned up. No worker was contaminated and there was no release of airborne activity.
The incident was reported to this and other interested Departments and relevant regulatory bodies on 13 January.
Details of the incident are contained in the Sellafield site's weekly newsletter, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.