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Bomb experts dispose of chemicals at UK nuclear site

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the Sellafield nuclear plant near Whitehaven in Britain, February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Bomb disposal experts have successfully disposed of chemicals at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant that had been found to have changed state during a routine inspection, the British government said on Friday.

The plant was evacuated as a precautionary measure on Thursday. It was not in operation at the time, Sellafield Ltd said.

The chemical, organic peroxide, is used across many industries and was stored at the Magnox reprocessing site in northwest England, segregated from the plant’s nuclear operations.

“During a routine investigation we noted that the chemical had changed state,” Sellafield Ltd. said in a statement.

“The risk has been identified as a conventional safety issue rather than a nuclear safety risk,” it added.

The government later said the team had successfully disposed of the package.

Sellafield is a former nuclear power generating site. The Magnox plant at the site is due to close this year. It processes and separates plutonium and uranium.

Reporting by Nina Chestney and William James; editing by Angus MacSwan

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