OPERATIONS to empty one of the world’s oldest nuclear waste stores in West Cumbria are taking a step forward. A series of large, metal units housing the equipment needed to empty the waste store at Sellafield nuclear site has been hoisted into position in preparation for the first retrieval operation. The lifting operation in the tightly confined space around the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo at Sellafield marks the latest phase of one of the most challenging nuclear decommissioning projects ever undertaken in the UK. The modules fit together to form the process needed to safely remove solid radioactive waste from the 18-metre high locked vault which was built with no thought of ever being emptied in the dawn of Britain’s atomic age in the early 1950s. The modules were manufactured and tested at Rosyth in Scotland before being transported to Sellafield where a 500-tonne crane lifted them into position on a platform 15 metres above the ground.
Whitehaven News 8th March 2019 read more »
Nuclear waste ready to be removed from Sellafield’s ‘locked vault’. The 70-year old Pile Fuel Cladding Silo was originally designed to be sealed forever
Energy Live News 8th March 2019 read more »
Installation has been completed of the equipment needed to remove material from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo (PFCS) at the Sellafield site in the UK. Demonstration removal of waste is scheduled for later this year, with larger scale removal operations set to start in 2020. The equipment is contained in nine metal modules. These fit together in a way that safely removes solid radioactive waste from the 18-metre high ‘locked vault’, which was originally designed to be permanently sealed. Kevin Brown, head of the PFCS programme at Sellafield Ltd, said: “The teams are incredibly proud to have completed one of the most complex challenges in the site’s history. We have opened up a building designed to be sealed forever and engineered a way for getting the waste out. After years of intensive planning, preparation and investment, seeing the retrievals modules in place next to the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo is a huge moment for those involved.” The modules were manufactured and tested by Babcock at Rosyth in Scotland before being transported to Sellafield where a 500-tonne crane was used to lift them into position on a platform built 15 m above ground. The first of the modules – known as the waste container transfer area – was lifted into place adjacent to compartment five, where the first retrieval is due to take place.
World Nuclear News 8th March 2019 read more »