The original estimate for the project was £43M, against an actual cost of £38M, with the work completed in March 2015, achieving two decommissioning milestones for Magnox’s Chapelcross Site.
Since the project began in 2007, the main contractor, OCS Environmental Services, has stripped 3,300 tonnes of asbestos from the turbine hall, four reactor buildings and 16 heat exchangers. In the last eight years over one million bags of asbestos waste (enough to fill four Olympic sized swimming pools) have been safely removed from the site and dispatched to licensed landfill sites.
Site Director, John Grierson said: “This is a tremendous achievement for Chapelcross and OCS Environmental Services; the safe, early and cost efficient delivery is testament to the quality of the personnel working on the project. It is a major milestone in moving the site towards a care and maintenance state and demonstrates our commitment to excellence in nuclear decommissioning.”
Before the actual asbestos strip could commence in 2009, two years were taken to erect a containment structure around each of the 16 heat exchangers to aid the construction of asbestos enclosures and protect the asbestos from further damage by wind and rain.
To construct the containment 506,246 feet of steel scaffolding was used, along with 194,576 fittings, 276 ladders, 48.84 tonnes of steel strengthening and 24,000 square metres of Powerclad sheeting. The whole thing took 39,000 man-hours to erect. The scaffolding boards used for the containment, if placed end to end, would stretch from Manchester to Bristol.
To remove the asbestos safely, polythene enclosures were constructed ensuring personnel on site were protected from any exposure from the asbestos removal operations and also to contain the asbestos fibres during the removal and waste handling operations. Once the bulk asbestos was removed the steelwork was fine cleaned and taken back to bare metal before being washed down. The fibre levels within the enclosure and adjacent to the enclosure were monitored by a team of independent Asbestos Analysts from Environmental Evaluation.
Brian Burnett, Head of Programmes at the NDA, said: “The safe removal of 3,300 tonnes of asbestos at Chapelcross completes an important hazard reduction activity for the site and a key step on the path to care and maintenance. I commend Chapelcross and Magnox on completing this project.”
© Magnox 2015