Staff at Sellafield have been praised after a difficult week battling storms and chemical concerns.

Staff at the site were faced with challenges when an electrical storm caused power problems early last week, and this was followed by a chemical needing safe disposal.

A bomb disposal squad was called in on Thursday after a chemical posing an explosion hazard was found on the Magnox site.

An Explosive Ordinance Disposal team attended the nuclear sit after a “small amount” of organic peroxide was found during a routine inspection.

Employees have also been praised for the way they handed power problems on Monday and Tuesday.

The electrical storm on Monday of last week and into Tuesday morning caused power disruptions that led to the loss of multiple supplies to the site, the most significant of which were the steam supplies from both the Combined Heat and Power Plant and the Fellside Boiler Park.

In an employee update, Rebecca Weston, Sellafield Ltd's chief operating officer, applauded the way staff had adapted to the challenges that faced them.

She said: “Although the challenges we experienced on the Sellafield site last week weren’t Covid-19 driven, they did drive home the importance of being ready to adapt and deal with the issues we’re faced with.

“Some said they couldn’t remember a week like it.

“The electrical storm on Monday night and into the early hours of Tuesday morning caused power disruptions that then led to the loss of multiple supplies to site.

“It was an impressive immediate response right across the site and we are now well on with the steam reinstatement plan.

“On Thursday the issue with the chemicals stored in Magnox emerged, with the urgent need to safely dispose of the material the next day through military explosive experts.

“Let’s remember that those responding to these incidents – from those attending the Site Emergency Control Centre, to the site infrastructure team turning the valves back on our miles of steam pipes, to the people co-ordinating the removal and disposal of the chemicals – were all working in our new world.

“Our response will no doubt continue to evolve as we learn more about living through the pandemic.”