The hazard evaluation and consequence assessment undertaken by Magnox found that the only unforeseen event that could potentially result in the release of radiation at Berkeley Site, is the, highly unlikely, direct impact of a large aircraft crashing directly onto the Active Waste Vaults (a relatively small facility onsite) and resulting fire.
It is important to be aware that in 2017, under the previous REPPIR 2001 legislation, the Office for Nuclear Regulation agreed with Magnox Ltd.’s findings that a radiation emergency was no longer ‘reasonably foreseeable’ at Berkeley Site.
The hazards at Berkeley Site that have the potential to cause a radiation emergency have not changed, but under the revised REPPIR 19, the way hazards are considered has changed. There is no longer a focus on ‘reasonably foreseeable’ emergencies, but now extremely unlikely but potentially more severe events have to be considered.
Magnox Ltd. experts have calculated that even in such an aircraft crash, any radiation released by the fire would be at such a low dose level it would not cause any harm to the general public.