Home » World News » Inside UK seaside town in shadow of 'Europe's most dangerous building' where locals keep backpacks 'ready to evacuate' | The Sun
Inside UK seaside town in shadow of 'Europe's most dangerous building' where locals keep backpacks 'ready to evacuate' | The Sun
ON a bright October morning, a dog walker strides across a goldenbeach and throws a tennis ball for his excited terrier.
As idyllic as it sounds, this seaside stroll in the west Cumbrian village of Seascale takes place in the shadow of a building dubbed the 'most dangerous in Europe' – the Sellafield Nuclear Site.
The British Nuclear Fuel (BNFL) plant, which stands proudly on a hill overlooking the Irish Sea, manages more radioactive waste than any other facility in the world.
It is also the site of the worst nuclear accident in UK history, the Windscale fire of October 1957.
The fire, ranked in severity at level 5 out of a possible 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, burned for three days and released radioactive contamination across the UK and Europe.
It has been estimated that the incident caused 240 cancer cases.
A few decades ago, seagulls around Sellafield became contaminated with radioactivity after flying into open fuel storage ponds and their carcasses had to be kept in an industrial freezer before being safely disposed of.
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And as recently as 2018, a nuclear plant owner was fined after a worker was contaminated by radiation.
But locals in the Victorian village of Seascale, half a mile away, say the sprawling six square km site is vital for the local economy, employing 11,000 workers – half of the UK’s nuclear workforce.
“It’s a fantastic place to live," says local resident, Liz Boys, 71. "I don’t know a single person afraid of the plant.
"If the best scientists in the world aren’t running for the hills, why would we?"
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