Major milestone as Thorp completes baseload contract

The Sellafield Ltd Spent Fuel Management Directorate achieved a significant milestone on 4th December by reaching 7,000 tonnes of fuel reprocessed in its Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP), which equates to the shearing and processing of 4514 dissolver batches.

The achievement signifies the completion of the initial Baseload contract and represents the end of this specific contract phase.

Scott Sax, NMP Executive Director for Sellafield Ltd, Spent Fuel Management commented: “We have overcome and recovered from many hurdles and performance threats to reach this point.  We have demonstrated a commitment to change and improvement not only to our regulators and the NDA but also to our fuel customers for whom we provide a vital contractual service.

All of the Thorp workforce should be commended in playing their part to reach this significant milestone and doing what they do best, Process Spent Nuclear Fuel!”

Mark Steele, Head of Programme, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority offered his congratulations to the Thorp workforce saying: “This is a historic milestone in what has been a challenging year so far and we need to recognise the hard work not just this year but over the decades which now allows the site to move forward on this critical mission.  My congratulations go to everyone on the plant.”

Acknowledgement was also received from Sellafield Ltd’s Overseas Baseload customers (BLC), Udo Rieger, Customer Chairman of the Joint Committee of the Thorp overseas BLC commented: “On behalf of the overseas BLCs, I would like to express that with the end of Baseload reprocessing an important milestone of the contract has been achieved and we are looking forward to solving any upcoming challenges together with your continuing good co-operation.”

Thorp still has 2000te of fuel to shear and process with some of the fuel significantly more challenging than previous fuels processed.  The success has enabled the NDA to confirm endorsement for the Thorp life time plan will enable Sellafield Ltd to meet the challenges from the remaining fuels, meet remaining commitments and transition safely into the next phase of Thorp’s life.

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