Three years of successful effluent transfers from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS) have culminated in a landmark one million litres retrieved to support decommissioning of this historic Sellafield store.
The process known as Liquor Activity Reduction (LAR) removes radioactive silo liquor from the MSSS and transfers it to Sellafield’s Site Ion Exchange Effluent Plant (SIXEP) for treatment.
Following each transfer, the silos are topped up with clean water and this reduces the silo liquor activity, significantly reducing the overall environmental risk from the facility and radiation dose to the plant workers from future retrievals work.
Chris Halliwell, Head of MSSS Programme Delivery, Sellafield Ltd, explained: “The one million litres achievement is significant and equates to the activity in over 250,000 tonnes of uranium being exported from our historic store. The transfer route has been well and truly proven and LAR is now business as usual.
“The LAR Programme relies on the ability of facilities across the site to be able to safely receive and treat the radioactive liquid effluents. This team work has put us in strong position to deliver and accelerate our programme of high hazard reduction at Sellafield.”
Completion of this liquor transfer from the MSSS is an important step towards emptying the silos, processing the waste and decommissioning the 1960s legacy plant. MSSS stopped receiving bulk radioactive waste in 1991 and 586 tonnes of solid waste retrieved and processed from the waste silos. New silo emptying plants are being built in order to recommence solid waste retrievals.