Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield

Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield


Britain’s notorious nuclear site is so guarded that when Jim Al-Khalili drives into the site, every building number is blurred, every piece of camera equipment checked. Sellafield gives up its secrets grudgingly.

With good reason, perhaps: some of the UK’s most controversial scientific research has been conducted here, from Britain’s race to build a nuclear weapon in the late 1940s to the opening of the world’s first commercial power station in 1956. So how did it become one of the most dangerous waste sites in the world? At 10pm, the people working on the Manhattan Project offer their personal accounts of the race to build the bomb.


Physicist Jim Al-Khalili explores the history of the nuclear facility near the village of Seascale in Cumbria, investigating Britain's attempts - past, present and future - to harness the power of the atom. He examines the ways waste and spent fuel rods have been stored there over the past 70 years and looks at the latest attempts to try to clean some of it up, from storage in vast open-air ponds to encasing pieces of old reactors in concrete blocks.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Jim Al-Khalili
Executive Producer Jane Aldous
Executive Producer Mark Tattersall
Producer Tim Usborne