Sellafield ready to decommission ‘locked vault’

By March 11, 2019 Holdens News

Machinery is now in place to remove waste from one of Europe’s most hazardous areas.

As one of Sellafied Ltd highest priorities Engineering teams have put in place the equipment to safely remove materials from its pile fuel cladding silo.

The structure originally designed as a permanently sealed unit has required the employment of innovative methods to gain access and safely remove its contents.

The 9 huge modules of retrieval equipment have been hoisted into place above a modern superstructure adjacent to the building.

Waste retrieval is expected to commence in the later end of this year progressing to larger scale removals sceduled for 2020.

Kevin Brown, Head of the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo program at Sellafield Ltd, said:

The teams are incredibly proud to have completed one 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 work come as part of the sites 100 year program of environmental remediation, which involves decommissioning dated facilities and transferring waste to safe containment for centuries to come.

In 2016 six steel door were installed into the silo after breaking through to provide access for future removals.

The specially engineered equipment trialed at Rosyth, Scotland took 18 months to design and a further 18 months to manufacture which is a considerably tight schedule for project of this magnitude.

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