TWENTY storage containers could be put to use on the Winfrith nuclear site as a temporary facility while decommissioning and restoration work is carried out. The containers, some stacked to two storey height, could be sited to the east of the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor off Monterey Avenue on the south west corner of the restricted access site. A planning application to Dorset Council from Magnox Limited also seeks changes to car parking in the area and the addition of earth bunding. It says the storage containers will be used as office space, staff welfare facilities, cycle storage and a smoking shelter while work continues in the area to remove the last two reactor buildings. A planning committee in January 2019 agreed facilities on the site to encase radioactive materials in concrete within special containers inside the heavy water reactor building, allowed it to ‘cure’ for around 28 days before being moved by road to Harwell. Councillors heard at the time that around 100-120 boxes were expected to be filled and taken off the site in total. The operation is part of the final phase of decommissioning the Dorset nuclear site. The former Magnox site, established in the 1950s, is expected to be restored to heathland by 2023. The last reactor on the site ceased operation in 1995. The entire site is surrounded by a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is close to several ancient burial mounds on Blacknoll Hill, 350 metres away. The containers will be removed, along with other buildings, once the work is completed.
Dorset Echo 3rd Aug 2021 read more »