I’ve taken pictures of Sellafield. Does that make me a terrorist?

I worked at the Sellafield site for a while, though it was over a half life ago, in the year before I went to University. It wasn’t all awful, but it did put me off going back and making a career there. Almost everyone who has spent any time in that part of West Cumbria has at least one picture of Sellafield somewhere in there collection. However, when five Londoners- who may be of Bangladeshi origin, do it, they get arrested.

Maybe the nuclear tourists sneaked up close to get pictures through the fence of nondescript buildings in the non active zone, hoping they could somehow score atomic secrets from photos of office blocks. We got our shots from up on Cald Fell or down the coast on Drigg Beach whilst setting up for a barbecue or wandering the dunes looking for naked sunbathers.

Of course the irony about people trying to get photos of Sellafield is that they’re all illustrated with photos of Sellafield. The media does concentrate on the icons of the plant’s skyline, the two chimneys and the golfball, which are no longer in use. The chimneys haven’t been used since the 1957 fire and the golf ball was an experimental Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor, which was shut down in 1981. (I think I went into the WAGR, or at least one of its ancillary buildings, during my orientation tour of the many sites of what was then BNFL.)

I may still have my Sellafield pictures, but please don’t send the anti-terror unit around, I can’t remember where they are.


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