What to do in an emergency at Sellafield

Information on what to do in the event of an emergency at Sellafield.

Emergency information guide

Sellafield Ltd and Cumbria County Council have developed an information guide that tells you what to do in the highly unlikely event of an emergency at Sellafield. If you live within the zone, you should have received a leaflet in the post from Cumbria County Council.

Find out more about what to do in an emergency at Sellafield.

Preparing for an emergency at Sellafield

As part of its operating licence, Sellafield Ltd maintains a robust and multi-faceted emergency response programme.

This includes a security guard force, armed police force, and a fully equipped fire station with full-time fire fighters, ambulance service and emergency response teams capable of round-the-clock response.

The effectiveness of Sellafield Ltd’s emergency response programme is continuously assessed through a series of emergency exercises, locally and nationally. The exercise scenarios are agreed with the Office for Nuclear Regulation and test both the management of an incident as well as the employee response.

Dates of emergency exercises at Sellafield

The following date has been agreed for an emergency exercise at Sellafield in 2021.

  • Wednesday 12th May 2021

Emergency information line

Sellafield Ltd has an emergency information line which has a pre-recorded message giving brief details of the current emergency state at Sellafield and is available at all times. Call 0808 909 8090.

Warning and Informing Registration Service

Register your details on the Sellafield Warning and Informing Registration Service

Who the service is for

You can use this service if you live or work within the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ). This covers approximately 6 to 8km from the centre of the Sellafield site.

This includes these villages:

  • Middletown
  • Beckermet
  • Braystones
  • Thornhill
  • Haile
  • Calder Bridge
  • Gosforth
  • Seascale
  • Holmrook
  • Drigg
  • Ponsonby
  • Wellington
  • Nethertown

If you live in postcode areas CA18, CA19, CA20, CA21 or CA22 you may also be eligible.

What you can expect

If there is an emergency, and you have signed up for the warning service, you will receive a telephone call, text message or email.

The alert will give you details about the emergency and what you need to do. For telephone calls, this will be a pre-recorded message.

You may also receive an alert when a site emergency exercise is taking place. The message will start by saying ‘this is an exercise’. If you see or hear these words, you will know that this is a test.

If you are not sure what’s happening, call 01946 748 996 at any time. You will hear a pre-recorded message giving brief details of the current emergency state at the site.

Published 31 July 2017
Last updated 7 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Additional exercise date for 2021.

  2. Replacement date added for a Sellafield Ltd emergency exercise day.

  3. Updated Sellafield Ltd emergency exercise dates 2017/18

  4. First published.