The Sellafield nuclear power plant in Cumbria, near which five men were arrested yesterday. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Five arrested near Sellafield plant under anti-terrorism laws

Five men are detained under anti-terrorism laws after a raid near the power plant; there’s no link to bin Laden’s death.

Updated, 12.03

FIVE MEN HAVE been arrested in the UK near the site of the Sellafield nuclear power station, under the United Kingdom’s Terrorism Act.

A Cumbria Police statement said the five men had been arrested following a stop check on a vehicle close to the Sellafield site in the west of the county at 4:32pm yesterday afternoon.

All five of the men have been arrested under Section 41 of the act, which provides the police with the power to arrest and detain persons without charge for up to 48 hours if they are suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.

This period of detention can later be extended to up to seven days by a judge.

All five men were transported to Manchester this morning where an investigation is being led by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.

Police said they were not aware of any potential link between the arrests and Sunday’s killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Sellafield plant has often been named as a potential worry for Irish authorities, who fear that the effects of any terrorist attack on the power station could result in a significant impact on Ireland.

The Sellafield plant lies around 105 miles from Ballagan head off Co Louth, and less than 80 miles from the closest point in Portavogie in Co Down.