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U.K. Nuclear Workers Ordered to Stay Home Over Radiation Levels

Image: A man walks along a road near the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria, England.
The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria, England. DAVID MOIR / Reuters file

A nuclear facility in north-west England ordered some workers to stay at home Friday after increased levels of radioactivity were recorded, its operator said.

The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site, in Cumbria, told all non-essential employees not to come to work after the elevated levels were picked up by a monitor at the north end of the site. Despite the decreased workforce, it said the facility was still operating a full capacity.

"Levels of radioactivity detected are above naturally occurring radiation but well below that which would call for any actions to be taken by the workforce on or off the site," said a statement posted on Sellafield's website.

"The site is at normal status and employees and operational plants are continuing to operate as investigations continue. All our facilities have positively confirmed there are no abnormal conditions and are operating normally."

It did not say what caused the elevated radiation levels.

A spokesman for the U.K.’s Department of Energy and Climate Change said it was in constant contact with Sellafield, and that there was no reason to believe the situation was more serious than the operator had claimed, Reuters reported.