East Lulworth

A  Registered One-Place Study and part of the Dorset OPC Network

News - 1958

The Times - Friday, 12 September 1958

Discharge by pipeline in Dorset

GENEVA, Sept. 11 - Four Harwell scientists reported at the conference that mildly radioactive waste from the new atomic station at Winfrith heath, Dorset, could be discharged safely into the sea from an underwater pipeline two miles off the Channel coast in a diluted form and provide no hazard to the public.

The projected underwater pipeline would begin at Arish Mell, about 10 miles east of Weymouth, after the effluent had been pumed underground from the station, said the report.

One problem was a shoreward drift off Arish Mell which would return some of the “much diluted” waste toward the coastline. “While the drift may seem a disadvantage,” the report said, “it does ensure a greater dilution because of the resultant circulation around the whole bay and also diminishes the chance of a local build-up of radioactivity at the end of the pipeline or anywhere in the area.” Later, when the tide turns west, the diluted effluent would be swept out to sea.

Investigations showed that the discharge could not harm the general public through bathing in “active” sea water, lying or walking on adjacent shores, handling contaminated fish, using seaweed - for example, as a fertiliser - swalowing “active”sea water or sand, breathing “active” sea spray or dust from the shore.

To see a film about the laying of the pipeline, go to the Arish Mell page