Oldbury 50 per cent defuelled

magnox 150The decommissioning of Oldbury nuclear power station has passed a major milestone as more than half of the site’s 52,060 fuel elements have now been removed from its two reactors. 

Mike Heaton, Oldbury Site Director, said: “This is a significant milestone in Oldbury’s lifecycle. The reactors are now half empty and over 19504 fuel elements have been shipped to Sellafield.

“We are now focused on removing all the remaining spent fuel from site, which will remove over 99 per cent of the total radioactivity from Oldbury.”

Once the fuel is removed from the reactors, it is stored for a number of weeks in cooling ponds on site before being shipped in fuel flasks to Sellafield for reprocessing.

Around 180 further flask shipments are required to finish defuelling at the site, which Magnox hope to complete early in 2016.

Tim Dunham, Defuelling Director, added: “The Oldbury team is doing a great job defuelling both the reactors. Retrieving all the spent fuel for reprocessing is a key milestone in the Magnox programme and when complete will allow Oldbury to enter the decommissioning phase of its lifetime.”

Oldbury’s success follows on from that of Sizewell A site, where defuelling of reactors was completed in August.

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