Cutting decommissioning timeframes

A new and innovative approach at Magnox sites aims to cut several decades off decommissioning timeframes and reduce costs.

Bradwell is spearheading the approach on ponds clean-up chain, have worked very hard to put in place the building blocks for this optimised delivery. We spearheaded a programme approach to clean-up, including ponds decommissioning, the adoption of Fuel Element Debris treatment and Intermediate Level Waste recovery and storage, to move towards accelerated Care and Maintenance at Bradwell and Trawsfynydd.

“This is a great opportunity to lead the way and put the UK at the forefront of global decommissioning, while ensuring that our exemplary safety record is upheld.”

All the sites are working towards the passive ‘Care and Maintenance’ phase which will leave only the reactors on site together with a waste store, while radioactivity decays before final site clearance around 60 years later. The opportunity to streamline the strategy arises from regular ongoing reviews of the existing approach, along with the emergence of new technologies and the drive for efficiencies amid the economic squeeze.

A further factor is the recent merger of Magnox North and Magnox South, which are now legally combined into Magnox Ltd. Work towards the full integration of management and other functions will continue over the next few months.

Having restructured, the business has now split on-site activities into three separate groupings that reflect the ‘optimised’ approach and the focus of work required, as follows:
• Lead sites at Bradwell and Trawsfynydd
• Fuelled sites, covering the generating sites at Oldbury and Wylfa, together with Chapelcross, Dungeness A and Sizewell A which are in the process of defuelling
• Hunterston A, Hinkley Point A and Berkeley decommissioning sites, where the focus is on keeping them safe and delivering value for money.