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Two radioactive waste spills and a cooling system breakdown plagued British nuclear power plants in February, a report leaked to the The Guardian.The report, from Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation, states that on February 2, 2011 a puddle containing plutonium and having 5 times the radioactive limit was found at the Sellafield Plutonium Purification Plant near Seascale.
Larger water contamination was found at the Torness nuclear power station, east of Edinburgh, on February 21. It was then, during a routine sampling that officials discovered an “elevated level of radioactivity” in the sites groundwater.
And February 22, at the Hartlepool nuclear station on the northeast coast of England, the back-up cooling system was taken offline following the discovery of a malfunctioning valve. Operators at Hartlepool only avoided shutting down the reactors by switching the cooling lines to the Reserve Tank Feeds.
A fourth incident is under investigation.
Four incidents in three months is unusual and may give ballast to the opponents of nuclear energy.
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