British Nuclear Fuels will this week start removing 90 cubic feet of soil, grass and tarmac from a garden in Seascale that was contaminated with radioactive pigeon droppings.
The company is acting on recommendations from the National Radiological Protection Board, which carried out investigations on the site and in the Cumbrian town after it was discovered that a flock of 700 birds had picked up contamination at BNFL’s Sellafield site and spread it to nearby Seascale.
The NRPB will not produce a report on the incident for several weeks but has made BNFL aware of its main findings and recommendations, which include the removal, containment and disposal of the soil to a depth of about 15cm from the garden of two elderly ladies who used to feed the birds. The operation could take 5-10 days.
BNFL has culled nearly all the birds at its site and at the house and is sealing the old buildings at Sellafield where the birds picked up the contamination mainly Caesium 137.