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3Episodes
Category: Arts:Books

A Man with a Cat narrates unusual and sometimes forgotten works of English language Non-Fiction, Poetry and Prose.

Before Chernobyl: The Windscale Fire

June 12, 2019

In a shameless attempt to ride on the coat tails of a popular cultural event, I am taking a break from my planned reading for this episode, and instead we're going nuclear. This week I'm reading the "Penney Report", or more formally "Report on the accident at Windscale No. 1 Pile on 10 October 1957".

A serious fire developed in the core of a nuclear reactor at Windscale Works, Sellafield, northwest England, which led to the release of significant quantities of radioactive material into the environment during 10–11th October, 1957.

In 1957, Windscale Works was operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), and on 15th October it was announced by the Chairman of the UKAEA that a Committee of Inquiry had been established under the chairmanship of Sir William Penney to conduct an investigation into the accident.

The Report was made public in January, 1988, and the original can be found in The National Archives.

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Cover Image: Storm Clouds over Sellafield by Chris Eaton