Chapelcross completes defuelling of second reactor

Magnox hit a second decommissioning milestone when the last of the nuclear fuel was removed from the second of Chapelcross’ four reactors.

All 18,462 fuel elements have now been removed from Reactors 3 and 4 and safely dispatched to Sellafield for reprocessing.

Following formal permission in July 2008 to begin the process of defueling by the regulator, the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the first flask was sent to Sellafield for reprocessing in April 2009.  Since then, Chapelcross has made safe and consistent progress in reducing the amount of radioactive material stored on site.

To date, 62% of the fuel at Chapelcross has been removed.  23,780 fuel elements out of a total of 38,075 have been removed from the site in 162 flasks, each containing about 150 fuel elements.  Completion of the defueling programme, which is scheduled in June 2013, will result in 99% of the radioactivity removed from the site.

Tim Dunham, Chapelcross Plant Manager , said: “I am delighted that we have safely and efficiently achieved another major milestone in the defuelling programme at Chapelcross”

Brian Burnett, NDA Head of Programmes (Magnox and RSRL), said: “The NDA is pleased that Magnox is making good progress in defueling, which is the most important hazard reduction activity on our reactor sites and a crucial step in the transition towards decommissioning.”

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