Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Important work in tackling future risks restarts at Sellafield
Small parcels of work with big benefits in future risk reduction have now restarted on the Sellafield site.
Sellafield Ltd is now carefully reintroducing operational work on a phased basis after ramping down operations at the start of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Chief Executive Martin Chown visited the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond to see first hand the restart of work preparing for the maintenance of a Skip Handler crane which will be vital for getting nuclear waste out of the legacy pond once more work restarts later in the summer.
A nuclear site which normally has more than 8,000 people working on it was reduced to around 1,500 key workers in late March as an initial protective measure.
Now the number of workers is being carefully and cautiously brought back up, with the current restart trajectory expected to reach 3,000 people on site by mid-June. Initial plans have imposed a cap of 3,500 on the site at any one time and then review that situation, to allow people to more readily socially distance themselves from other workers.
It means thousands of employees have adapted to working differently and remotely and the company putting in place a process of prioritising the work packages where people need to come back to work.
Three high-profile areas of work have restarted in the last week, marking a significant step forward in Sellafield Ltd progressing its core mission of environmental remediation and safely storing nuclear material.
- restarting the work on commissioning the Silo Emptying Plant (SEP2) waste retrievals machine inside our highest hazard legacy storage facility, the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo
- restarting the work to repackage cans of plutonium into new containers.
- maintenance work on the Skip Handler Crane in the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond, with similar work starting next week in its ‘sister’ legacy pond, the Pile Fuel Storage Pond.
Allied to this have been the recent restart of construction work on the The Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store Direct Import Facility (BEPPS-DIF) major project – a key facility needed to store legacy waste in the future – and the return of some specialist nuclear designers into offices.
Of course, all along, around 1,500 key workers have been doing their vital work to keep the Sellafield site safe and secure throughout the global crisis.
Sellafield Ltd Chief Executive Martin Chown paid a visit to the legacy pond to meet those who have been continuing to go to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and learn more about the safety measures being put in place following the risk assessment work the business has been doing to allow people to work safely.
Martin also visited the BEPPS-DIF site, the first of our project construction sites to bring people back in.
The site was used as a test bed for a number of safety initiatives designed to keep people safe, with learning from that restart used in further project construction restarts over coming months.
Martin recently said:
I really enjoyed my time spent on the major construction sites and within our nuclear operations,
The preparations we have made in plants enable everyone to come back to work with confidence. I was most impressed with the commitment and positive attitude from all of our staff, who are an asset to our business.
- EU Emissions Trading System and Carbon Price Support: companies awarded compensation
- SSRO interim compliance statement July 2016
- Restorative justice action plan: 2014
- Statement of Practice 10 (1979)
- A democracy that works for everyone: survivors of domestic abuse
Latest News from
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Innovative team scoops prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Award30/06/2020 11:15:00
A team of university researchers from across the UK – funded by the NDA, National Nuclear Laboratory, Sellafield Ltd and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – has scooped a prestigious award.
New Future Skills Hub for North Ayrshire29/06/2020 16:15:00
Magnox funding helps boost further and higher education opportunities in North Ayrshire.
A long-term solution to radioactive waste26/06/2020 15:43:00
Blog posted by: Dr Sam King – Head of Technical Strategy at Radioactive Waste Management, 25 June 2020 – Categories: Waste management.
Dounreay cash reaches groups in need during Coronavirus lockdown26/06/2020 13:33:00
More than 30 community groups received help from a fund supported by Dounreay and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority during the COVID-19 crisis.
Not the House of Lords26/06/2020 12:43:00
Blog posted by: Chris Wood, 25 June 2020 – Categories: Supply Chain.
Minister gets takes first ever ‘virtual tour of Sellafield’24/06/2020 15:43:00
Visits from government ministers are a vital way of showing the scale of the decommissioning challenge at Sellafield.
Sellafield Ltd to restart reprocessing and further boost operations in 202024/06/2020 11:15:00
A 6-month operational plan has been mapped out to restart vital hazard and risk reduction work at Sellafield.
Funding for Dorset communities16/06/2020 14:15:00
Magnox and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority have announced a £25,000 cash boost to help support vulnerable groups in Dorset.