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Dounreay radioactive leak proves value of environmental protections

Decommissioning company Dounreay Site Restoration’s (DSRL) environmental protection systems operated successfully during a radioactive leak last month, DSRL said today.

On 7 October, 1l of radioactive effluent leaked during the destruction of hazardous liquid metal from Dounreay plant’s reactor. This work resumed after a temporary seven day shutdown during which environmental protection systems put in place by DSRL were said to have functioned successfully.

“Last month’s event demonstrated how these standards work in practice,” said DSRL director of assurance Alan Scullion. “It proved the value of our environmental management systems. The risk of a leak had been identified during the planning for this stage of the reactor clean-up and sufficient controls were built into the design of the plant.”

The British Safety Council today awarded DSRL a Globe of Honour award for “best practice and set exemplary standards in environmental management”. DSRL was selected for the award prior to the leak occurring, but the British Safety Council suspended the announcement until it could be assured that the safety systems had successfully protected the environment during the incident. DSRL also won the British Safety Council’s Sword of Honour award for worker safety.

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