First UK nuclear power reactor decommissioned at Sellafield

The first UK nuclear power reactor has reached a significant milestone as the unique golf ball design reactor comes to the end of its 20 year decommissioning programme at Sellafield.
The final section of the Outer Ventilation Membrane was safely removed from the reactor’s concrete bioshield at the end of May, marking the successful completion of the final reactor decommissioning campaign.
Ian Cowan, Windscale Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (WAGR) project manager said: “Completion of Campaign 10 is a significant milestone for the WAGR Decommissioning project and draws to a close twenty years of work to safely dismantle, process and place into passive storage an industrial scale power generating nuclear reactor”.
The WAGR was built in the early 1960’s to serve as a test bed for further development of advance fuel and other components and to provide operational experience of power production and was the forerunner to the UK’s second generation of power reactors. It was owned and operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and later by Babcock International Group plc which, up until January 2011, managed the decommissioning project.
Chris Halliwell, head of Programme Delivery Sellafield remediation and Decommissioning Projects/Windscale said: “This is a fantastic achievement and the culmination of many years’ work from Sellafield Ltd, UKAEA and its subcontractors.
“It is a true demonstration of the UK’s ability to fully decommission nuclear power stations in a safe, sustainable and cost effective manner, and it augurs well for the decommissioning of other high-hazard facilities on the Sellafield site.”

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