THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS

THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS



NO LEAKAGE FROM CRACKED BNFL POND

Thursday, January 17, 2002

BNFL has said it does not think radioactivity found in a borehole at Sellafield could have come from cracks in the concrete walls of a nuclear waste storage pond.

But the company is still investigating the possible cause of radioactive technetium found on site.

BNFL spokesman Jamie Reed said when questioned by the News: "Several years ago, BNFL discovered cracks in the surface wall of the B30 pond. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) and EA are well aware of this issue These cracks are a feature of large concrete water retaining structures such as pond walls. Most of the cracks have electronic measuring devices fitted to them (strain gauges), which have shown no change in crack size other than seasonal variation, over several years. In addition to electronic measuring, BNFL structural engineers regularly monitor the surface walls of the B30 pond and report their findings to the NII.."

He added: "There is no leakage from B30.''