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British Nuclear Waste Nears Oslo

January 7, 1998

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ Radioactive waste from a British nuclear reprocessing plant has been found in shrimp and seaweed near the fjord leading to Oslo, a Norwegian newspaper reported Wednesday.

Norway’s Radiation Protection Board reported last month that in the past year, the radioactive element technetium had increased eightfold in the waters off western Norway.

It said the source was traced to the Sellafield plant in northwestern England, which reprocesses 200 tons of nuclear material a year.

Now the board says the radiation, which is not at dangerous levels, has reached the mouth of Oslofjorden, an inlet 60 miles from Oslo, the capital.

``This is just the start of increasing levels of technetium from Sellafield,″ board member Per Strand told the Aftenposten newspaper. ``We see this in clear connection with the facility in 1994 being allowed to increase emissions of the radioactive material by a factor of 20.″

Norway and Ireland both lodged formal protests in 1994 against Britain allowing the increase. Aftenposten said renewed protests from Norway were likely.

Strand said the radiation found in marine life in Oslofjorden was not dangerous, but contamination of shellfish was expected to increase.

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