Third reactor defuelled at Chapelcross

Magnox Chapelcross hit another significant decommissioning milestone at the site on Friday 21 December 2012 when the third reactor was completely defuelled.

Following formal permission to start defuelling from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) in July 2008, and the first flask being sent to Sellafield for reprocessing in April 2009, there has been consistent progress made with the defuelling programme at the Chapelcross Site.

Commenting on the latest milestone, Brian Burnett, NDA Head of Programmes (Magnox and RSRL), said “The NDA is pleased that Magnox continues to make good progress in defuelling Chapelcross to schedule and removing hazard from the site.”

A total of 38,075 fuel elements are being systematically removed from all four reactors and safely despatched for reprocessing to Sellafield.  To date 34,552 fuel elements have been removed and sent for reprocessing in 234 flasks.

This represents 91% of the defuelling programme with each flask containing an average of 150 fuel elements.  Reactors 1, 3 & 4 are now completely free of fuel and the total flask shipments required to complete defuelling at Chapelcross is approximately 260.  Completion of the defuelling project, which is scheduled to be completed by mid 2013, will result in 99% of the radioactivity removed from the site.

Richard Murray, Plant Manager in charge of the defuelling project said “This is a great achievement and another significant defuelling milestone for the site as we head closer towards safely removing all the fuel from Chapelcross. Key to the success of the project has been the continued dedication of the skilled workforce currently focused on the defuelling project.”

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