Members of the team gathered to see the last of 12 supporting frames fall to the ground in a dramatic ending to the project which has seen more than 30,000 tonnes of waste generated. All of the material, other than a small amount of hazardous material including asbestos, has been recycled and some rubble was reused to backfill other areas on the site. This helped keep disruption on local roads to a minimum.
Site Director, Paul Wilkinson, said: “The skyline now looks very different at Dungeness A with this representing the biggest visible change since construction was completed in the 1960s. Following 40 years of safe electricity generation, this latest success demonstrates that Magnox is now leading the way in UK nuclear decommissioning.”
Thousands of viewers visited the Magnox website in recent months where progress has been broadcast live on a webcam. Andy Dyson, from principal contractor Erith, said: “It’s great that so many people have been interested in following our progress. From asbestos stripping, to the removal of four giant generators and eventual demolition of the building itself, this has been a tough challenge. This building was made to last and, working with a great team of local people alongside core Erith staff, we’re proud to have been part of this project.”
David Batters, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Chief Financial Officer, added: “More than £12 million was invested to deliver this work in three years rather than the original 15 years that was planned. It is an excellent example of accelerated decommissioning delivering value for the taxpayer while taking the site closer to its closure point.”
The focus now turns to other areas of the site, which is managed by Magnox on behalf of the NDA. One of the next activities will be to begin draining the cooling pond which stored used fuel before being removed from the site. The last shipment of fuel left the site in 2012, meaning that 99 per cent of the radioactive hazard at the site has been removed.