After successfully emptying 50 per cent of its two nuclear reactors earlier this year, the team at Oldbury Site is proud to start 2015 with fewer than 150 fuel flask shipments to go before the site is completely free of fuel.
At the end of generation, Oldbury’s two reactors contained just over 52,000 fuel elements, each containing approximately 11kg of uranium. Once all the fuel is safely sent to Sellafield, the site will have removed over 99% of its radioactivity.
Mike Heaton, Oldbury Site Director, said: “Our aim is to remove all the remaining spent fuel from site in just over a year’s time. It’s a meticulous process and takes time but we have the skills, the knowledge and the people to safely and securely deliver the Magnox work programme.”
Fuel is removed from the reactors, one element at a time, using the same machines that were used to refuel during generation. Once ready for dispatch, the fuel is loaded into a fuel flask and on to a fuel transporter ready for its journey, by road and rail, to Sellafield.
Each fuel flask measures 1.6 metres in height and carries around 200 fuel elements at a time. With less than 150 flasks left to dispatch, Oldbury should be free of fuel by the end of next year.