The company responsible for delivering decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear legacy has named Tata Steel as being best positioned to deliver an important package of work to support the removal of nuclear waste from ageing storage facilities into modern stores.
“This announcement demonstrates our commitment to ensuring value for money for the UK taxpayer without compromising quality” said Paul Foster, Sellafield Ltd Managing Director.
“I am delighted to have a local company demonstrate the capability, capacity and commitment to meet the programme requirements. It means we can also expect a range of benefits to West Cumbria and the local supply chain, which ultimately is what we, and local stakeholders, want to see in the region.”
The four-year package of work will see Tata Steel modify and refurbish an existing fleet of ‘packages and gamma gates’, which are essentially specialist high-integrity containers and doors used to provide shielding during the safe transfer of waste from the legacy storage plants at the site to modern, purpose built stores.
This will enable decommissioning of the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS), one of the four oldest nuclear waste stores on the Sellafield site, and will see nuclear material moved from the silo and transferred to a new Silo Direct Encapsulation Plant (SDP) where it will be packaged for safe, secure storage. It is the only project of its kind in the world.
“It’s a brilliant new contract” said Stuart Bowe, projects director at Tata Steel.
“It has come off the back of the quality work we are already doing at Sellafield and will give us something to work off in the future.”
Sellafield Ltd’s primary focus is to safely clean up and decommission all high hazard facilities on the site, some of which date back to the 1940s. Retrieving waste from this facility is an integral part of the long term plan.