Final fuel elements arrive at Wylfa

Wylfa Site has reached a significant milestone in its lifecycle by taking delivery of the last Magnox nuclear fuel elements ever to be manufactured.

The last bulk fuel delivery from Springfields Fuels Limited arrived on site this week.

Approximately 5.5 million Magnox fuel elements have been produced since 1955 – more than 600,000 of which were made for Wylfa.

Nick Gore, Site Director at Wylfa said: “This is a significant event for Wylfa and the nuclear industry as a whole – it marks the end of an era. I must congratulate all of the staff who have been involved with fuel delivery, inspection and dispatching over the years, and have looked after each and every one of the fuel flasks in a safe and controlled manner.”

Springfields’ Alan Beauchamp said, “Magnox fuel production, including that made for the Wylfa reactors, was for many years the backbone of fuel manufacturing at the Springfields site. Not only has the fuel contributed to the essential generation of baseload electricity in the UK for the past 56 years, but it has also supported hundreds of jobs at the site.”

Magnox type reactors were the pioneers of the civil nuclear industry, with the first commercial nuclear power station at Calder Hall coming on line in 1956. Wylfa and Oldbury (currently the world’s oldest operating nuclear power station) are the last remaining operating Magnox stations.

At Wylfa, fuel that has been used (or ‘spent’) is then moved into Dry Store Cells on site, before finally being dispatched to Sellafield for reprocessing.

This last fuel will be checked and inspected before being loaded into the site’s fuelling machine. This machine will remove the old fuel elements out of the reactors and at the same time replace it with the new elements.

This year, Wylfa celebrated 40 years of generation and has safely supplied more than 219TWhrs of electricity, enough to meet the needs of 1 million British households.