CORONAVIRUS cases at Sellafield have more than doubled in a week as Omicron continues to spread rapidly throughout the county.

Numbers of cases among those employed on the site rose from 320 in the week to Wednesday 29, up to 712 in the week to January 5.

Testing at Sellafield is done in two forms.

Firstly, by people testing positive at the Sellafield test and trace facility (employees and contractors). Secondly, Sellafield Ltd employees who have tested positive via the NHS and reported to the company.

In the week to Wednesday, December 29 there were 90 SL Facility Positive Tests and 230 NHS Positive Tests.

In the week to Wednesday, January 5, there were 121 SL Facility Positive Tests and 591 NHS Positive Tests.

This means that Britain’s biggest nuclear site has seen case numbers jump by 392 in just one week, with leaders looking at ways in which they can curb the spread of the virus within Sellafield.

Staggered start times for some contractors has been brought in to help control the footfall in ‘pinch points,’ such as changing rooms and canteens, as well as all employees being encouraged to take LFT’s before every time they enter the site.

Sellafield’s CEO Martin Chown issued an update to employees on Monday, January 4 advising them on the steps the site would be taking.

He said: “We continue to proactively respond to the situation; the rates of Covid-19 are rising rapidly in Cumbria as we follow the same pattern as other parts of the country and we expect that to continue for another few weeks.

“In January there will be significantly fewer people coming in to work on site, this is because we have already reviewed who needs to be on site in light of the government’s Plan B restrictions and guidance to work from home where possible and effective.

“Our people coming onto the Sellafield site in the first weeks of 2022 all need to be there: our operators and maintainers who do such an essential job of keeping our plants safe and secure; our contractors delivering the major construction projects; the day support staff who need to interact to support those reducing hazard and risk; our security staff, bus drivers, cleaners and so many others who play their part in keeping the site running.”