An important stage in the construction of the Box Transfer Facility (BTF) at Sellafield was reached recently when the project completed the breakthrough into the sites existing Encapsulation Plants active underground transfer tunnel from the BTF construction site.
When complete, BTF will provide the ability to transfer legacy waste from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silos (MSSS), which has been encapsulated into 3 m³ product boxes within the Silos Direct Encapsulation Plant, to interim safe storage at either the Encapsulation Product Store 3 or the Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store.
Richard Dobson, BTF project team, Sellafield Ltd said: “We worked closely with the Encapsulation Plants and site outage planning team as the work involved breaking through from the BTF construction site into an active transfer tunnel and therefore the work could only be carried out when the sites reprocessing and encapsulation plants were in outage.
“We started the on site physical works in May, which enabled us to prepare the team from Vinci UK as the principal contractor and BD Nuclear, who specialise in these type of cutting operations.”
Mark Kitchinghman, BTF project manager added:” This key project interface activity was a significant task planned into the recent site outage with considerable interest from the regulator. A dedicated team within the project focused on this key interface activity which required detailed coordination and effective engagement of numerous stakeholders”.
Richard added: “The project team are absolutely delighted with the way the contractors have delivered their work scope safely, ahead of schedule and with minimum impact on the other areas of work taking place within BTF. More importantly, because we have finished this work ahead of schedule we have given the site outage team options because we are not holding them back.”
The BTF is a key element of the MSSS programme and directly supports risk and hazard reduction on the Sellafield site