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A leaky sump at the Bradwell nuclear power plant in the UK will cost operator Magnox South some £250,000 in fines, while court costs take the total penalty to £400,000 ($567,000).
Magnox discovered the leak in 2004 and voluntarily disclosed it to safety authorities. The company should have made regular checks to ensure the integrity of the holding tank but did not do so, even when it was upgraded in 2001. The company was convicted on three counts of improperly disposing of radioactive waste, covering periods from March 1990 to February 2004.
The leak within the decontamination bay was never detected outside the site boundaries despite regular monitoring by the UK Environment Agency and “did not cause any risk to local people or the environment,” the agency said. Nuclear regulators the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate had decided to take no action on the matter, and the Environment Agency waited three years before bringing the court case in 2007.