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Communicating risk: news media reportage of a significant nuclear contamination incident in the UK

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

Analyses and evaluates the way the mass media reported a controversial discharge incident at British Nuclear Fuels' (BNF) spent fuel reprocessing facility at Sellafield in Cumbria in November 1983. With the exception of the Windscale fire in 1957, this discharge has constituted the most serious radiation incident at any nuclear installation in the UK. It was significant both for its immediate local impact associated with contamination of beaches, and for its wider national ramifications, occurring at a time of a growing crisis of confidence in the nuclear industry. It was also a time of heightened controversy over Sellafield in the wake of a television documentary disclosing an increased incidence in leukaemia among children in its vicinity, radioactivity from Sellafield being the alleged cause of the increase. -from Authors