ONR Pressed On Sellafield Safety Issues

News from Mannin Branch Celtic League:

Celtic League Mannin branch have written to the United Kingdom Office for Nuclear Regulation addressing several queries prompted by the recent BBC Panorama programme which highlighted safety issues at the Sellafield reprocessing plant.

Text below:

“Dr Richard Savage
Chief Nuclear Inspector
and Director, Nuclear Directorate
4N.2 Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS

9th September 2016

Dear Sir,

I write with reference to the BBC Panorama report on Sellafield recently which highlighted various shortcomings at the plant.

Can I ask were the Office for Nuclear Regulation aware of the staffing problems highlighted and had any of the safety shortcomings been highlighted to you by any member of staff?

Bearing in mind that the BBC used the evidence of what they term a ‘whistleblower’ what confidential facility do ONR have in place for staff at Sellafield (or other plants) to raise safety issues with them?

I note the statement issued by ONR on September 5th (link):


You refer to ‘unique challenges’ at the plant were these ‘challenges’ relevant to the shortcomings the BBC programme?

I note the last four site reports - quarterly incident statements have recorded:

“there were no civil incidents at nuclear licensed sites within Great Britain or during the carriage of nuclear matter within Great Britain and Northern Ireland that met the Ministerial Reporting Criteria (MRC) as defined within the Nuclear Installations (Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations 1965 and ONR guidance in relation to notifying and reporting incidents and events.”

In light of the recent allegations do you have any plans to revise the ‘criteria’ or ‘guidance’?

When was the last occasion that the International Atomic Energy Agency were invited to visit Sellafield and observe and comment on the work going on there?

Finally, (and this may fall out with your remit at ONR) are you aware of reductions in the overall establishment of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary which provides security at all UK nuclear installations and has ONR made any comment or representation to the UK government on this?

Yours sincerely,”

Related Link:


Image: The Sellafield complex

Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.

TEL: 01624 877918 or 07624 491609



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries including our own Mannin branch. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

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