Investigation over radioactive leak

10 Oct 2011

A radioactive leak has been uncovered at the former Dounreay power station in Scotland.

The discovery, made during routine operation of the plant, has seen the country's environment secretary call for a full probe.

Drips of caustic liquor were detected in a shielded cell at the plant, currently being used to destroy the liquid metal used as the coolant in the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR).

Following the discovery the leak was stopped and officials closed the plant, according to Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL).

The leak was called "minor" by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

The body added that no radioactive material had been released into the atmosphere.

Mr Lochhead said: "I have also been briefed by senior management at Dounreay and have been assured that this is a very minor leak that was spotted quickly and contained within the plant.

"As no uncontrolled release of radioactive effluent has occurred outside the plant there is no direct role for SEPA.

"The Scottish Government expects this matter to be investigated fully by the operator - Dounreay Site Restoration Limited and regulator - the Office for Nuclear Regulation."

Copyright Press Association 2011

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