EIGHT workers at Hinkley Point nuclear power station were exposed to radiation after a corridor became contaminated last week.

The contractors were carrying out valve replacement work in the shut down R3 reactor at Hinkley B on Thursday when a corridor in the gas bypass plant was polluted.

Safety officers quickly identified the leak and all eight workmen were asked to leave the radiation-controlled area as a precaution while a clean-up recovery programme was carried out.

Hinkley B spokesman Gordon Bell said the workers were taken for assessment at the Health Protection Agency’s Harwell facility in Oxfordshire but he insisted that they were only exposed to very low-level radiation.

He said: “The maximum whole body dose to any individual was 5microSv, the equivalent of a dental x-ray.

“No injuries were sustained, and there was no threat to members of the public or the integrity of the plant.

“The associated reactor unit, R3, is on its statutory outage, while the second unit is unaffected and continues to operate as normal.”