Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sellafield Ltd pleads guilty following electrical safety incident

18 December, 2020

Sellafield Ltd has today been fined £320,000 after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974).

The company was also ordered to pay costs of £12,079.07 by District Judge John Temperley at the hearing at Carlisle Magistrates Court.

It follows an incident on 24 April 2020 at the Sellafield site which resulted in a worker sustaining 15-20% burns while undertaking electrical work on high voltage equipment.

The incident took place at an electrical substation on the site and there was no nuclear material present or any radiological risk to workers or the public.

The prosecution was the result of an investigation into the incident by ONR, the UK’s independent nuclear safety regulator.

Dr Mina Golshan, ONR’s Deputy Chief Inspector, said: “I welcome today’s guilty plea which recognises the failings by Sellafield Ltd on this occasion that led to an employee sustaining serious injuries.

“This was an entirely avoidable event that occurred due to inadequate training and a lack of supervision.

“As an independent regulator, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action if we consider it is necessary to do so.

“While we are satisfied that Sellafield Ltd is meeting the standards of safety we expect with regards to nuclear safety, we want to see these same standards in place with regards to electrical safety – where further sustained improvements are required.

“My team of inspectors will have close oversight of Sellafield’s response to this incident to ensure the root causes are addressed.”