Sellafield has been discharging radioactive substances into the environment since 1950 when it first began producing fissile materials for nuclear bombs. Radionuclides such as plutonium-239 and americium-241 have been flushed into the sea - at times unmonitored - while accidents, particularly the 1957 Windscale Fire, have released radioactive gases including iodine and polonium to the air. Such radioactive releases have prompted years of controversy over how many cancers and deaths might have been caused by Sellafield's civil and military activities.

Photo source: SPL
Ref No: T170/197
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