Tx: 10 August, 9pm TBC
Lying on the remote northwest coast of England is one of the most controversial places in Britain: the nuclear facility known as Sellafield. In this one-off documentary, BBC Four have been given unprecedented access to some of the country’s most secret buildings, revealing the extraordinary experiments, the jaw-dropping technology, and the costly science behind Britain’s attempts to harness the power of the atom.
Nuclear physicist Jim Al-Khalili uncovers the story of Sellafield: from the headlong rush to develop nuclear weapons and nuclear power to terrifying accidents, like the Windscale fire and leaks of radioactive material into the sea; from public opposition to the latest reprocessing techniques.
Jim examines the ways waste and spend fuel rods have been stored here over the last 70 years and the latest attempts to try and clean some of it up, from storage in vast open air ponds to encasing pieces of old reactors in concrete blocks. Jim looks at the latest efforts and considers whether, 65 years on we are any closer to a solution to the problem of nuclear waste.
And throughout the programme, Jim will conduct his own experiments, demonstrating the scientific discoveries that lie at the heart of Britain’s journey into the nuclear age.
Source: BBC Media Centre