SPRS receives first consignment

The Sellafield Product & Residue Store, one of the most advanced nuclear security facilities ever built, has entered its active commissioning phase six weeks ahead of schedule.

It has received its first consignment of material for storage, just a few months after construction was completed ahead of target and under budget.

The first transfer of material represents a significant achievement for Sellafield Ltd and the Plutonium Operating Unit within the Spent Fuel Management directorate.

SPRS is the latest addition to the range of facilities designed to provide safe and secure storage of nuclear materials on the Sellafield site and incorporates some of the most advanced nuclear security features ever used in a building of this type.

At the height of the project, over 450 people were employed on the construction of SPRS and the project team achieved 1.8 million man hours without a Lost Time Accident over a 33 month period.

Since the construction phase was completed, the plant’s safety case has been updated, regulatory consents obtained and the plant taken to an appropriate state of readiness to allow for the start of active commissioning.

SPRS will now progress through a sequence of planned tests as part of the active commissioning phase, at the end of which Sellafield Limited will seek permission from the NII to take the plant into normal operations.

Stuart MacVean, Sellafield Ltd’s Director of Spent Fuel management, said: “Delivery on this significant milestone shows that Sellafield can deliver with confidence on programmes of national importance. My thanks go out to the entire team that has made this project a reality.”

Dr Ian Hudson, NDA Head of Programmes for Sellafield, added: “It’s extremely encouraging that SPRS is once again beating its delivery targets as SPRS is an extremely important facility in progressing the clean up and decommissioning mission.

“It is of course one of many major construction projects and operational facilities on site, with more to come. Being able to meet delivery targets and then sustain high levels of performance is something we are all striving for and crucial to the ongoing success of Sellafield and the NDA mission.”