Box Transfer facility at Sellafield

Sellafield Ltd has just received permission to construct, install and inactively commission a new plant known as the Box Transfer Facility (BTF).

The BTF is an important plant to enable the decommissioning of the Magnox Swarf Storage Silos (MSSS), which is one of the priority projects on the Sellafield Site. The MSSS dates back to the 1960s and contains intermediate level waste mainly comprising Magnox fuel cladding.

Work on the BTF originally started a few years ago, with the design and build contract for the BTF being awarded in March 2007, at which time both the foundations and base slab were completed. However, the project was then temporarily halted whilst a comprehensive review of the strategy to treat and handle waste retrieved from the MSSS took place.

BTF project manager Mark Kitchingman said: ”During the review we were challenged to accelerate the timescales to start MSSS retrievals at the earliest opportunity. On the basis that the civil design had reached a high level of maturity, the project has recommenced the reinforced concrete superstructure build ahead of the detailed design, which will be carried out later this year.

“We have now completed our second concrete pour on the reinforced concrete superstructure, which we plan to have constructed by May 2012. In total, the structure will comprise 3900m3 of concrete, including 800te of reinforcement and will have a 100 year design life.

“Acceleration of the construction activities is a key enabler to bringing forward the date by two years to be ready for active commissioning of the MSSS waste stream in June 2017.”

BTF will provide export routes for waste retrieved from the MSSS and processed in Silos Direct Encapsulation Plant (SDP). The waste will be in the form of 3m3 product boxes which will be exported via BTF to the Encapsulation Plant Store 3 (EPS3) and eventually the Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store (BEPPS) when it has been completed.

Pete Robinson, Head of Projects, added: “The acceleration of BTF construction is an important step to accelerating both SDP and the MSSS programme. It is imperative that we complete the civil construction of BTF on schedule to allow SDP construction to commence unhindered.”

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