State-of-the-Art Nuclear Material Store at Sellafield

The first major project to be completed by Sellafield Ltd, under the ownership of Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) has just been delivered – ahead of schedule and under budget.

The Sellafield Product and Residues Store (SPRS) is the latest edition to the suite of facilities designed to provide safe and secure storage of nuclear materials on the Sellafield site.

With over 36,000 cubic metres of concrete, the same amount of steel as the Eiffel Tower and enough cable to stretch from London to Paris, SPRS incorporates some of the most advanced nuclear security features ever used in a building of this type.

Speaking at a ceremony at Sellafield to mark the handover of the facility from the construction to the operations team, senior project manager, Tom Gilroy, said: “At the peak of construction this project employed over four hundred and fifty construction workers – and many more have helped us to complete this build since construction started in September 2005.

“We have completed construction, established the links with associated facilities and installed and performed all of the functioning tests on the equipment within the plant. It is now with great pleasure that we hand over the facility to our internal customer – the operations team”.

Rebecca Weston, head of operating unit, plutonium operations said: “SPRS is a crucial element in the Sellafield site plutonium management strategy. As such, the SPRS operations team, within the newly formed plutonium operating unit, are excited about taking charge of this new facility and working towards safe active operations, which will enable continued safe and secure storage of plutonium materials on the Sellafield site.”

Sellafield Ltd Managing Director, Bill Poulson, added: “The safe delivery of this world class facility two months ahead of schedule is the perfect example of how combining the skills and experience of Sellafield Ltd with the expertise of NMP is accelerating work; bringing projects in early and under budget.”  

Speaking on behalf of Sellafield Ltd’s customer and site owner, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Dr Ian Hudson, said: “The combination of effective delivery and world class safety reflects what can be achieved by combining the best of Sellafield with the supply chain.”  

The project team has also maintained an excellent safety record throughout construction, achieving a total of over 1.8 million man hours worked by the construction teams without a Lost Time Accident over a period of 33 months. This achievement was acknowledged by the Safety Health Practitioner, Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) with a commendation in the ‘Best Health and Safety Achievement in Construction’ category at their 2009 awards event.