Second phase on BBNS Sellafield project

The Babcock-Bechtel joint venture Bechtel Babcock Nuclear Solutions (BBNS) has been contracted by Sellafield Ltd to move into phase two of the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo Retrieval Project, Silo Doors & Retrieval Modules (SDRM), having successfully completed phase one.

 Retrieval of the fuel cladding and other intermediate level waste (ILW) from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo is a high priority for Sellafield Ltd – the company responsible for safely delivering decommissioning, reprocessing, and nuclear waste management activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. 

BBNS was awarded the SDRM contract last year, covering detail design, procurement, manufacture, works testing, delivery to site, installation and commissioning of silo doors and retrieval and waste handling modules, together with a hole cutting system.  The three-phase project will take around six years to complete. 

Successful delivery of phase one (mobilisation and project familiarisation) ahead of schedule and under budget has now facilitated the move into phase two, involving completion of the design, specifications, procurement packages and safety case support.  This phase is expected to take 18 months, and, if successful, will be followed by procurement, manufacture, works testing, construction, installation and commissioning under phase three. 

Finalising the complex retrieval design will be a key challenge in this second phase, involving a significant design resource to meet the project’s demanding timescales.  Additionally, the BBNS team are accelerating a key design element of the project, the Retrievals Access Penetration, so that the operational requirements of the design can be tested and confirmed as early as possible.  

The BBNS team, which combines the skills and expertise of two nuclear industry leaders, is fully integrated with Sellafield Ltd’s own to deliver this contract, working together to deliver the SDRM project successfully on-schedule, in-budget, and in full compliance with all safety and quality standards.  The BBNS and Sellafield Ltd teams are co-located wherever practicable to further aid effective close working. 

Sellafield Ltd Project Manager Chris Jones commented: “Sellafield Ltd is committed to accelerating decommissioning historic facilities on the Sellafield site and to ensuring value for money for the UK taxpayer.  This cannot be achieved without the valuable support of our suppliers.  BBNS has efficiently and effectively completed Phase 1 of this priority project.  However, the demands posed by Phases 2 & 3 will be considerably greater than those encountered to date and we will need BBNS to rise to the challenge to ensure future success.” 

Babcock NDA Key Account Director Tony Moore said: “We are delighted now to be moving into phase two of this project, building on the successful completion of phase one.  The BBNS team has both the capability and high level expertise to perform the full workscope, as well as the project management and integration skills to undertake this safely and effectively.  We look forward to continuing to work closely with Sellafield Ltd to deliver the second phase of this critical project successfully.”

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