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Sizewell A: Bosses investigating how sulphuric acid ended up in fuel storage pond

12:00 11 January 2013

Sizwell A power station

Sizwell A power station

Archant

NUCLEAR bosses are investigating how a small amount of dilute sulphuric acid ended up in a fuel storage pond.

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The incident happened at Sizewell A power station, which is run by Magnox Ltd and is currently being decomissioned. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) have said they are happy with the way the incident has been handled and confirmed it posed no risk to public safety.

The dilute sulphuric acid was discovered in the fuel storage pond at Sizewell A on December 20. Over time it is understood this could have caused the casing on the outside of the fuel rods to erode.

A spokesman for Magnox Ltd said: “The event had no radiological significance or any off-site impact. The regulators have been informed.

“As a precaution the fuel stored in the pond is being dispatched to Sellafield [in Cumbria] for reprocessing and conditions in the pond are being returned to normal.

“Magnox is carrying out a full investigation of the event to ensure that any lessons are learned.”

A spokesman for the ONR said they were satisfied Magnox Ltd took appropriate precautionary actions.

“There was no radiological release and we are content the risk to the safety of employees and the public was negligible,” he continued. “Magnox Ltd has initiated its own investigation. Our inspectors will monitor the progress of this and, as routine, will make their own inquiries.”

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