Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nuclear Waste Company Says, "Whoops, Some of Our Files Are Missing"

In the 'funny if it weren't so scary' category we have the advert which ran last week in the Whitehaven News, the local paper for west Cumbria where Sellafield is to be found. As reported in the Guardian at the weekend, LLW Repository Ltd - the company which has recently taken over managing the site - have found there are significant holes in records detailing what radioactive waste was dumped in the repository at nearby Drigg; so they're appealing for people who worked at Sellafield in the 60s, 70s and 80s to rack their brains and fill in the gaps.

Now I'm not good at filing, but when I can't put my hands on my TV licence or gas account number, the only person to suffer is me. When it's companies with the responsibility of managing some pretty nasty waste, however, that's something else entirely. The story on the website of Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment draws the obvious conclusion that "given that the [waste] trenches have now been capped and sealed off for some years, those workers still alive will be hard pushed to recall exactly what they were chucking away up to fifty years ago, the inventory is unlikely ever to be completed."

Admittedly, it's not LLWR which is responsible for these administrative oversights (they haven't had much time to engineer their own cock-ups yet) but resorting to a public call for information is pure farce.

Greenpeace has been pointing out for years that waste management has been incompetent at best. Marge in our media team dug out a video from 1994 showing what happened when Greenpeace investigators snuck into the low level waste dump at Drigg, discovering improperly packaged junk and highly radioactive material which shouldn't have been there. The strong language of the investigator shows just how serious it was.

No comments: