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Old 22-05-2012, 09:11 PM   #343
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Lightbulb Wind Scale

The Windscale fire of 10 October 1957 was the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain's history, ranked in severity at level 5 on the 7-point International Nuclear Event Scale. The two piles had been hurriedly built as part of the British atomic bomb project. Windscale Pile No. 1 was operational in October 1950 followed by Pile No. 2 in June 1951. The accident occurred when the core of the Unit 1 nuclear reactor at Windscale, Cumberland (now Sellafield, Cumbria) caught fire, releasing substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the surrounding area.

Of particular concern at the time was the radioactive isotope iodine-131, which may lead to cancer of the thyroid, and it has been estimated that the incident caused 240 additional cancer cases. No one was evacuated from the surrounding area, but there was concern that milk might be dangerously contaminated. Milk from about 500 km2 of nearby countryside was diluted and destroyed for about a month.

After the Second World War, the British government, not wanting to be left behind as a world power in an emerging arms race, embarked on a programme to build its own atomic bomb as quickly as possible.

The reactors were built in a short time near the tiny village of Seascale, Cumberland, and were known as Windscale Pile 1 and Windscale Pile 2, housed in large, concrete buildings a few hundred feet apart.

The Ministry of Defence had by 1999 fired more than 6,350 depleted uranium rounds into the Solway Firth from its testing range at Dundrennan Range. The adjacent Irish Sea is a carrier of radioactive pollution as Sellafield is nearby...a British Ministry of Defence official said that the Templeton photo was of no interest to them.

The Irish Sea has been described by Greenpeace as the most radioactively contaminated sea in the world with some "eight million litres of nuclear waste" discharged into it each day from Sellafield reprocessing plants, contaminating seawater, sediments and marine life...

Last edited by lightgiver; 22-05-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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