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14MTH NUKE LEAK AT POWER PLANT; Drip spotted day before PM arrived.

Byline: PAUL BYRNE

A RADIOACTIVE leak at a nuclear plant went undiscovered for more than a year until just before a visit by Gordon Brown.

Contaminated water vapour dripped from an overhead ventilation duct for 14 months at Sellafield in Cumbria, an internal inquiry has found.

A faulty flange at the site's Magnox reprocessing plant was noticed in January, a day before the PM arrived.

Management failures were blamed and campaigners say Sellafield Ltd should be prosecuted. It was fined pounds 500,000 for a more serious leak in 2005 at the site's Thorp facility.

A Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment spokesman said the latest incident was "yet another sign of the slap-dash attitude to safety at Sellafield".

Bosses said it was "lowlevel" and no one was exposed.

CAPTION(S):

BLUNDER Sellafield complex
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 15, 2009
Words:134
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