Dungeness ‘A’ is fuel-free

Magnox started the month of July at Dungeness A with a leaner, more focused decommissioning team to take forward plans for dismantling the shutdown nuclear plant.

This ends a significant chapter in the station’s life and follows the recently announced completion of its five-year defuelling programme which removed 99% of the site’s radioactive hazard.

Ray Jepps, Site Director, said: “We claimed our ‘fuel-free’ status in June and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has since modified the site’s operating license to reflect that. This allows us to change our security and emergency preparedness arrangements, enabling a more fit-for-purpose post-defuelling workforce to be put in place.”

Reaching this point marks another major milestone in the life of the site which, together with defuelling itself, ends one of its biggest ever tasks and makes a further contribution to the nuclear clean-up mission which Magnox undertakes on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

The aim now is for Dungeness A to move into an ‘interim care and maintenance’ phase by 2019. This will leave the site in a safe and secure state, with all its higher hazards stabilised or removed, releasing resources for higher levels of work at other decommissioning sites.

Near-term work priorities include a mix of conventional and radiological projects, from asbestos removal, de-planting and demolition, to the draining and sealing of its redundant spent fuel storage ponds and retrieval of legacy wastes.