SEPA warns Chapelcross nuclear power station for failure to sample discharge

The Scottish EPA has issued a warning letter to British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), operator of the Chapelcross Nuclear Power Station, after the station discharged radioactive effluent without obtaining a pre-discharge sample.

The Chapelcross station, near Annan, Dumfriesshire, discharged 59, 098 litres of effluent from a detention tank to the Solway Firth on both January 17 and 18 this year without first obtaining a pre-discharge sample as required under the plant’s liquid discharge authorisation.

SEPA found that the level of radioactivity discharged during the incident was unlikely to have breached any authorised limit. It was concluded that the cause was a combination of human error on the part of the plant operators and deficient procedures.

“SEPA expects compliance with all conditions of the authorisation and therefore, views this matter very seriously,” said Specialist Environment Protection Officer, Dr Jim Gemmill. “Any recurrence or similar incident is likely to lead to a higher level of enforcement action.”

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