Whitehaven News

The Whitehaven News


A FORMER Sellafield chargehand who claims workers face safety risks over radiation working has become a thorn in the side of BNFL.

Despite being given a voluntary severance cheque for 87,000, Duncan Ball, from Calderbridge, keeps demanding answers to his safety complaints. After going public with his concerns on the Channel 4 Despatches documentary, Mr Ball has now increased his one-man campaigning.

Last month he stood by the Sellafield entrance holding aloft inflammatory posters. When this failed to get a response he went to the BNFL headquarters at Risley, near Warrington, and after being refused permission to speak to the company chief executive, Norman Askew.

Mr Ball set off the fire alarm for the high-tech office complex. Then he travelled to London and was shown the door at BNFL's London offices.

This week Mr Ball has been lobbying outside Parliament and 10 Downing Street and is seeking a meeting with Copeland MP, Dr Jack Cunningham.

He claims risk assessments have not been fully carried out on a job entitled Bulge 49, in part of the B205 reprocessing plant. Mr Ball says he walked out over the safety issue and was then given more than the normal voluntary severance terms to keep the matter "under wraps.''

He says that he received 87,000 when normally he would only have been entitled to 32,000.

Nigel Monkton, press spokesman at Sellafield said: "We have thoroughly investigated his claims twice and found there was no substance to his allegations. We suggested he speak to the regulatory authorities if he wasn't satisfied, but we don't know if he has. As for his severance, 87,000 is not unusual in such circumstances.''