Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Printable version

What is Sellafield?

Blog posted by: , 7 September 2018 – Categories: Research and developmentSkillsWaste management.

What do you know about Sellafield? Encircled by miles of fencing, and with armed guards at its gates, for many people - Sellafield is an enigma.

Sellafield itself is in north-west England, in a remote costal location with the Irish Sea on one side and the mountains of the Lake District on the other.

Sellafield the town

Covering a footprint of 2 square miles, hundreds of buildings and thousands of people, Sellafield needs some of the same infrastructures as a small town.

Did you know that Sellafield has:

  • an active and non-active laundry?
  • a postal service?
  • canteens?
  • shops?
  • utilities, including water and steam?
  • a road and rail network?
  • an armed police force?
  • a civilian guard force?
  • emergency services including fire and rescue and paramedics?
  • a medical team?

Sellafield is changing

Here we’ll explain what Sellafield was when the site first opened, what it is today – and what it’s becoming.

The best of the best people work here, in a range of extraordinary roles. And we have a critical mission.

70 years of national service

In 1947, the Sellafield site opened with a single mission – the production of plutonium, a radioactive chemical element for use in Britain’s nuclear deterrent. As the nation’s priorities shifted, pioneers at the site:

  • designed and built the world’s first commercial-sized nuclear power station
  • recycled nuclear fuel so that both plutonium and uranium, another chemical element, could be recovered and reused
  • created safe treatment and storage options for all types of nuclear waste

Today the Sellafield site presents one of the most significant environmental remediation challenges in Europe.

Did you know?

  • Sellafield covers 2-square miles
  • it operates 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • it’s home to 4 of the biggest nuclear risks and hazards in Europe
  • over 10,000 staff operate the site
  • more than 4,000 supply chain experts help our employees
  • we spend £2 billion every year – but are a non-profit organisation

Click here for the full blog post


Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article
Cleaning up the
UK’s nuclear legacy
What we do News Publications
Get involved Suppliers Contact us
Our purpose is to keep
Sellafield safe and secure
Progress and priorities Sellafield Magazine
Environment and safety reports

Latest News from
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Forrester Wave Enterprise Service Management Report: MicroFocus Leading the Way