Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Sellafieldcable strike incident on 7 September 2018

Date released
16 April 2019
Request number
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

I request a copy of ONR’s safety report and investigation into the cable strike incident that occurred on 07/09/18 during CFA piling works on the New Steam Generation Plant Sellafield construction project. Morgan Sindall were Principal Contractors.

Pile 46, sent out in error by the PC to a superseded “for construction” drawing, damaged a 132,000V cable supplying the power station.

Information released

I can confirm that the ONR holds information of the description in your request. However, we are refusing your request under section 30 (Investigations and proceedings) of the FOIA. The exemption provided by section 30 protects criminal investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities. Please refer to the Information Commissioner’s Office website for further details.

We have applied the Public Interest Test as follows:

Factors for release:

Issues related to the nuclear industry are subject to close scrutiny and debate, there is a public interest in information related to nuclear activities and the release of such information. The information may provide reassurance to the public about the safety of nuclear installations. It may also facilitate the accountability and transparency of ONR for decisions taken by them as a regulator and enforcing authority of the nuclear industry.

Factors for withholding:

In relation to this incident ONR has issued an Improvement Notice against Sellafield Ltd for contraventions of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Details of the Improvement Notice can be found on the ONR website.

This Improvement Notice currently remains open and Sellafield Ltd is in the process of making improvements to remedy the said contraventions. Disclosure of this information could prejudice ONR’s proceedings and future potential to secure enforcement action against Sellafield Ltd.


After careful consideration of the factors set out above, ONR has concluded that the information should be withheld under section 30 (Investigations and proceedings) of the FOIA. Disclosure of this information, whilst the Improvement Notice is not yet closed, could prejudice ONR’s potential for future legal proceedings.

Exemptions applied

S30 - Investigations and proceedings

PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable