The Encapsulated Product Store 3 (EPS3) is the latest addition to the suite of facilities designed to store Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) in purpose built above ground storage buildings on the Sellafield site.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the completion of the facility, Sellafield Ltd’s Ewan Smith said: “Over the course of this project the efforts of many people, from many different disciplines and companies have been required. At the peak well over 200 people were working on the project and it is to their credit that we have delivered the project safely and to a high standard of quality.
“We have achieved an exemplary safety record – with over 8 years of construction work, that’s more than 2 million hours, without a reportable injury. This hasn’t just benefited the project, but the community too, as the construction team has donated over £30,000 to 80 West Cumbrian charities as a result of this excellent safety record.
“It is now with great pleasure that we hand over the facility to the operations team who will ensure that it does what it is required to do”.
The modern store contains over 32,000 cubic metres of concrete and 7,300 tonnes of reinforcing steel and represents the very latest generation in nuclear waste storage, design and construction. It is capable of storing over 29,000 waste drums.
Steve Bostock, Director Spent Fuel Management said: “EPS3 will receive ILW arising from the sites continuing reprocessing and high hazard removal operations, as part of decommissioning a number of priority facilities. The team is now excited about operating this new facility to enable continued safe and secure storage of ILW on the Sellafield site”.
Pete Lutwyche, Sellafield programme Director for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), added: “The completion of EPS 3 marks a major milestone in the decommissioning of Sellafield. This facility is a key piece in the jigsaw of projects we need to clean-up the most hazardous areas of the site – the NDA’s number one priority task.
“Once opened, the building will provide world-class, modern storage of waste for many years to come, pending its ultimate transfer to the safest and most secure method of dealing with this material – disposal in a deep geological facility.
“This is one of a number of achievements this year at Sellafield, including the completion of the Sludge Packaging Plant and the restarting of fuel removal from the Pile Fuel Storage Pond, and I hope to see this momentum continuing across the decommissioning programme.”