THORP Feed Clarification Cell
The discovery was made after a camera inspection of the cell, which is a stainless steel totally secure environment and specifically designed to withstand such pipe failures. There is no risk to employees, the local community or the environment.
Managing Director of British Nuclear Group, Sellafield, Barry Snelson said: Let me reassure people that the plant is in a safe and stable state. Safety monitoring has confirmed no abnormal activity in air and there has been no impact on our workforce or the environment. I have asked for the front end of the plant’s reprocessing operations, including shearing, to be closed down. The plant is in a safe, quiescent state.
Although when and how this failure occurred is currently being investigated, there has been no release of any material from the cell, which is specifically designed for such eventualities.
Further investigations have confirmed approximately 83m3 of liquor on the floor of the cell and engineers are putting plans together to recover the liquor.
At the same time, another team is beginning the process of identifying ways of repairing the pipeline.
The safety regulators have been informed and a Board of Inquiry has being convened. Further investigations are ongoing to understand what has happened and what needs to be done before the plant can begin operating again.