Sellafield workers back on site after Storm Isha delay


Contractors are back on site this morning at the Sellafield nuclear facility in Cumbria after operations were shut down at the weekend due to Storm Isha. 

Image credit: Simon Ledingham, aerial view Sellafield, Cumbria, via WikiCommons.

Sellafield Limited said on Sunday it had suspended operations and sent workers home early as powerful winds and heavy rain battered parts of the UK. 

It said there are no safety or security issues at the former nuclear power site, adding halting works was as a “precautionary step”. 

Sellafield, which opened in 1956 and was previously known as Windscale, includes more than 200 nuclear facilities and more than 1,000 buildings.   

However, as of August 2022, primary activities are nuclear waste processing and storage and nuclear decommissioning. 

Many contractors and suppliers, including Keltbray, have been commissioned to deliver nuclear infrastructure decommissioning and asbestos removal (DAR) services there for Magnox on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. 

Storm Isha caused widespread damage and disruption this weekend with rail services interrupted and tens of thousands of homes left without power, as winds of up to 99 mph were recorded in Northumberland. 

Sellafield Limited said operations on site had resumed this morning in a “safe and controlled manner”.  

“Owing to severe weather warnings related to Storm Isha, operations at Sellafield were suspended for a period yesterday (Sunday),” said Sellafield Limited. 

“This was a precautionary step which allowed us to safely shut down our operational plants to prepare for worsening weather conditions overnight. 

“A controlled early release of staff took place, allowed people to travel home before the worst of the weather hit. 

“The site is open as usual today (Monday) and our operational plants are being restarted in a safe and controlled manner. 

“There are no safety or security issues associated with this issue.” 

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Image credit: Simon Ledingham, aerial view Sellafield, Cumbria, via WikiCommons.   

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