Sellafield Ltd to be prosecuted for radiation accident

The operators of the Sellafield nuclear facility in the UK are to be prosecuted after two employees of a contractor, received a "higher than anticipated" dose of radiation.

Sellafield Ltd, which operates the Sellafield nuclear facility, has been charged with failure to discharge its duty under Secton 3(1) of the Health and Safety Act 1974 and the case will be heard at Whitehaven Magistrates' Court on 24 July.

According to reports, two workers who were engaged in refurbishing a floor at the site's plutonium finishing and storage plant received a ''higher than anticipated'' dose of radiation in July 2007.

A spokeswoman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said, "The two contractors were exposed during the decontamination of an area of concrete floor.''

She added that according to the information available with them, the two workers have not shown any illness due to the incident and the level of dose received would indicate the likelihood of adverse long-term effects was low.

The company has confirmed that the incident did take place, but declined comment as a legal case was under way.