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Secret UK Uranium Components Plant Closed Over Safety Fears 101

Lasrick writes "The Guardian has an exclusive story regarding a secret uranium-enriching plant in the UK that was closed due to safety fears. From the article: 'A top-secret plant at Aldermaston that makes enriched uranium components for Britain's nuclear warheads and fuel for the Royal Navy's submarines has been shut down because corrosion has been discovered in its 'structural steelwork', the Guardian can reveal. The closure has been endorsed by safety regulators who feared the building did not conform to the appropriate standards. The nuclear safety watchdog demands that such critical buildings are capable of withstanding 'extreme weather and seismic events,' and the plant at Aldermaston failed this test. It has set a deadline of the end of the year for the problems to be fixed.'"
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Secret UK Uranium Components Plant Closed Over Safety Fears

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  • by mirix ( 1649853 ) on Friday January 25, 2013 @05:40AM (#42689135)

    Sounds like the system is working as it is supposed to. Inspectors found problem, problem will be rectified.

    Now had they not found anything, and it fell apart like that bridge a few years back, then that's news.

    The facility doesn't sound terribly 'secret', not any more at least...

  • Big Deal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Friday January 25, 2013 @06:03AM (#42689209)
    Somebody get an Architect we need a new building.
  • by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Friday January 25, 2013 @06:50AM (#42689319)
    This is an example of the social headwinds nuclear engineering (actually any engineering) faces all the time. Engineers identify a problem, usually during routine inspections (inspections that take place in order to find any problems!), and take an action such as shutting down in a controlled manner to remedy the problem. The tabloid title of the summary of the event invariably reads "Nuclear Plant X Forced to Shut Down Due to Safety Fears" and is followed by an article which lists the last N times the plant had to shut down, possibly followed by a comment about TMI/Chernobyl/Fukushima just to keep the drama up. Yes, accidents happen, but the fact that many problems are identified, investigated, and remedied as part of a engineered safety response program seems lost on the public. The battery problems on the Boeing 787 are another similar example - correct actions are being taken to remedy a problem, but journalists are branding the Dreamliner as a potentially unsafe lemon.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken