Full details of the decision can be found here.
Local television cameras in Kent have captured demolition machines knocking down a gigantic 50 tonne ‘goal post’ that helped to keep the 26 metre high turbine hall at Magnox’s Dungeness A Site standing.
It is the latest step in the removal of the redundant building which helped produce 115 terawatt hours of electricity during 40 years of safe generation.
Journalists from BBC South East and ITV Meridian News took the opportunity to share the latest updates on social media during their visit.
Demolition progress at Dungeness A Site can be monitored from a live camera that updates every minute. Click here to watch.
Magnox Limited is owned and operated by Cavendish Fluor Partnership Limited on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
© Magnox 2015
After successfully emptying 50 per cent of its two nuclear reactors earlier this year, the team at Oldbury Site is proud to start 2015 with fewer than 150 fuel flask shipments to go before the site is completely free of fuel.
At the end of generation, Oldbury’s two reactors contained just over 52,000 fuel elements, each containing approximately 11kg of uranium. Once all the fuel is safely sent to Sellafield, the site will have removed over 99% of its radioactivity.
Mike Heaton, Oldbury Site Director, said: “Our aim is to remove all the remaining spent fuel from site in just over a year’s time. It’s a meticulous process and takes time but we have the skills, the knowledge and the people to safely and securely deliver the Magnox work programme.”
Fuel is removed from the reactors, one element at a time, using the same machines that were used to refuel during generation. Once ready for dispatch, the fuel is loaded into a fuel flask and on to a fuel transporter ready for its journey, by road and rail, to Sellafield.
Each fuel flask measures 1.6 metres in height and carries around 200 fuel elements at a time. With less than 150 flasks left to dispatch, Oldbury should be free of fuel by the end of next year.
© Magnox 2015
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is highlighting new figures which show that 15 people lost their lives while at work across the North West in 2013/14 and 9,432 suffered injury. That compares to 14 deaths and 9,401 injuries in the region the previous year.
Statistics were also released today showing the scale of workplace illness. Across the North West, some 120,000 people were estimated to have been made ill through their work over the same period.
Nationally, across Great Britain, there were 133 deaths at work in 2013/14, more than 79,500 injuries were formally reported and over 1.1 million people are estimated to have been made ill.
That is a huge reduction from when HSE was formally established in January 1975 to enforce the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 – the statute that underpins all health and safety legislation, and that is credited with making the UK one of the safest places to work in the world.
In 1974/75 a total of 651 employees alone were killed, and that is without including self-employed workers whose deaths were not recorded in the same way.
The latest figures show that those involved in construction, manufacturing and waste and recycling are most at risk today, with agriculture another industry where sustained improvement is needed. Local employers are being urged to review whether they can do more to protect their workforce.
Areas of particular concern include falls from height; work on machinery that is poorly maintained and guarded; and failing to properly manage workplace transport.
Steven Smith, HSE’s Head of Operations for the North West, said:
“The families of the workers in the North West who sadly lost their lives last year have just had to spend the festive period without their loved ones, while hundreds of other workers were made ill through their work or had their lives changed forever by a major injury.
“The figures offer encouragement that we are continuing to head in the right direction, but they also show that we can still go further and challenge the industries where there is room to do more.
“Workplace conditions have improved dramatically in the past four decades, but as employers plan and prepare for the new financial year they need to ensure that health, safety and welfare is a clear focus.”
HSE Chair Judith Hackitt added:
“In the forty years since HSE was formed, we’ve worked with businesses, workers and government to make Britain a healthier and safer place to work.
“Thousands of serious injuries have been prevented and work-related deaths have reduced by 85 per cent. HSE has helped Britain become one of the safest places to work in the world.
“But we must also recognise that there is still a big challenge to prevent the suffering which does still occur. Seeing the annual statistics always leads to mixed emotions, sympathy for those who have suffered injury themselves and for the families and workmates of those who have lost their lives, determination to improve things further as well as encouragement that we are continuing to make progress in reducing the toll of suffering.
“For the last eight years we have consistently recorded one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers among the leading industrial nations in Europe.
However, in HSE’s 40th year it is right that we acknowledge the progress we’ve made and look to a future of striving to bring down these statistics even further.”
Information on tackling health and safety dangers in workplaces is available on HSE’s website at www.hse.gov.uk
The job of emptying canned fuel from the original Windscale fuel storage pond at Sellafield restarts following two years of work to refurbish a specialist facility which repackages legacy canned fuel into modern containers.
The Pile Fuel Storage Pond (PFSP) was the very first nuclear fuel storage pond constructed at Sellafield back in the 1940s and to this day remains the largest open air nuclear storage pond in the world. It is currently being decommissioned and part of this work involves emptying the pond of its nuclear fuel.
Dorothy Gradden, Head of PFSP explained: “The PFSP is well past retirement age and we’re fully committed to removing all the nuclear fuel that has been stored there for decades.
“The pond poses one of the most challenging decommissioning projects on the Sellafield site. Almost 1000 different waste forms have been identified and this canned fuel represents the most significant hazard in the pond and is therefore the highest priority to remove.
“We’ve given the National Nuclear Laboratory’s (NNL) Windscale Laboratory the job of opening up the old fuel cans in a controlled environment to examine the fuel condition and then repackage it for the site’s more modern fuel storage ponds.
“In 2012 we accelerated the retrieval of the first sixteen cans of fuel to allow us to prove our retrieval techniques and underpin the treatment route; while this work was successful we had to pause the retrieval programme while a scheduled upgrade of the Windscale Laboratory was carried out. This is now complete and we are very pleased to be able to start moving canned fuel from the pond and reducing the hazard associated with the facility.”
Originally PFSP stored nuclear fuel and isotopes from the Windscale Pile Reactors that produced nuclear materials for the defence industry. However, the majority of this canned fuel actually hails from the Windscale Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (WAGR) – the AGR test reactor or golf ball as it’s commonly known. The PFSP received fuel from WAGR in the 1960s, but was never designed to store oxide fuel long term.
Project manager Andy Williams said: “A twelve month programme has started to transfer the 32 flasks of canned fuel from the pond to the NNL Laboratory and onward into the care of our colleagues in the Thorp programme. Underpinning this transfer has required a very close working partnership between all of the parties and has exemplified the drive for accelerated hazard reduction highlighted in the company mission.
“We’ve worked tirelessly to put in place new handling and export equipment so we can safely start emptying the pond of fuel – it’s a red letter day for us. This flask movement marks the successful conclusion of a substantial programme of work which will help meet the safer sooner objective for the PFSP.”
NNL Waste Management & Decommissioning Director Nick Hanigan said: “NNL operate the Windscale Lab, which is strategically important to both the UK and Sellafield. Sellafield Ltd is NNL’s biggest customer and it’s very important that we work together on the legacy clean up of Sellafield. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Sellafield Ltd team involved in recommencing the processing of materials and also the NNL team. They worked closely together to make this project a success. We will continue processing materials for another 12 months, and at the end of this it will be a major step forward in decommissioning the PFSP.”
An exemplary regulator that inspires respect, trust and confidence.
In his introduction to the new strategy, Nick Baldwin, ONR Chair, explains “We want to be acknowledged as a first class organisation by our peers and stakeholders.”
To deliver the vision, ONR will focus on three key strategic themes:
- Influencing improvements in nuclear safety and security
- Achievement of our vision through ONR’s people
- Inspiring a climate of stakeholder respect, trust and confidence.
Wylfa was one of 50 organisations worldwide that achieved a Sword of Honour, which is awarded to organisations who have demonstrated excellence in the management of health and safety.
In order to compete for the Sword of Honour, an organisation first had to achieve the maximum five stars in the British Safety Council’s health and safety and environmental management audit scheme in the period August 2013 – July 2014, and demonstrate to an independent panel of experts that they are excellent in their health and safety or environmental management throughout the business – from the shop floor to the boardroom.
Fred Brookes, Wylfa’s Environment, Health, Safety, Security and Quality Manager, said: “It is an honour to be recognised again by the British Safety Council. Ensuring that every single person on site goes home safely is our priority and I am proud of the safety culture that has grown at Wylfa. The fact we have won the Sword of Honour again demonstrates Magnox’s commitment to continuously improving our health, safety and environmental performance.”
Alex Botha, chief executive of the British Safety Council, said: “Our warmest congratulations to 50 of our member organisations who have won the Sword of Honour and the five organisations who have won the Globe of Honour. These awards recognise and celebrate the excellence of the winning organisations and their employees in managing health, safety and environmental risks.
“What all of the Sword and Globe winning organisations share is a commitment and resolve to achieve the highest standards of health, safety and/ or environmental management and to keep their employees and those affected by their work activities healthy and safe. We are delighted that they are partners in helping achieve our vision that no one should be injured or made ill at work.”
© Magnox 2014
Fifty seven years after the UK’s worst nuclear incident, the skyline in West Cumbria is set to change forever as Sellafield Ltd
tackles the crucial task of bringing the second and final ventilation chimney of the Windscale Piles to the ground.
The Windscale Piles, with their two distinctive ventilation chimneys, were built in the early days of the Cold War to provide the Government of the day with plutonium for the production of a nuclear deterrent, helping the UK retain its seat at the top table in the global power struggle that followed the Second World War.
Standing at 110m tall – taller than the Statue of Liberty – some 5,000 tonnes of concrete, steel and brick will be carefully dismantled, monitored to check for any remaining contamination and disposed of safely.
Bradwell Site’s reactor buildings are beginning to sport a fresh new look as demolition and weather protection work progresses at the Magnox site – giving an initial insight to how the site will look when it enters care and maintenance.
The site’s two reactor buildings have now been separated for the first time since they were built in the 1950s following demolition of a central change building which joined them together, allowing additional workfaces to be opened up to progress the installation of the aluminum cladding.
The cladding, which will provide weather protection for the site during the care and maintenance phase of its lifecycle, has started to be revealed on boiler house one, the first of the four former boiler houses to be completed and the scaffolding removed. Around 60 tonnes of scaffolding is being taken down after nearly two years of concealing the 144ft high structure.
To date 7,377m2 of cladding, out of the total of 28,000m2, has been installed, with the approach being to clad the four boiler houses first and then and work inwards to the reactor buildings themselves.
Scott Raish, Bradwell Site Director, said: “Separating the two reactor buildings really is marking the end of an era for Bradwell but also highlights progress being made at the site. Now the buildings are separated, the work to clad the reactors can continue and we will begin to see more of what the site will look like in care and maintenance – this work demonstrates our commitment to safely and securely deliver the Magnox work programme.”
© Magnox 2014
Nearly 18 months ago the town of Berkeley came to a standstill as the final 310 tonne boiler left the near-by decommissioning nuclear power station. November marked the end of the Berkeley boilers half century life span as the final piece of the last metal giant is smelted at Studsvik’s specialist facility in Sweden, with only around 3% of secondary residues to be returned to Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) for final disposal early next year.
Simon Bedford, Magnox Project Manager, said: “This marks the end of a huge hazard reduction project for Berkeley site. Our aim is to reduce risk and cost associated with the Magnox decommissioning programme through innovative approaches and this was no exception. By working collaboratively with Studsvik and LLWR, we were able to achieve a very positive outcome recycling around 95% of the boilers back in to the metal market. We are always focused on delivering value to the NDA and the UK taxpayer and this work is an example of how we are leading the way in UK nuclear decommissioning at our sites.”
The project began back in 2011 when Studsvik was appointed the main contractor to LLWR Ltd on behalf of Magnox for the removal, transport and treatment of the first five of fifteen boilers from the Berkeley site. The preparatory work began late 2011 and first boiler was lifted on 1 March 2012 with all five boilers being off-site and in Sweden by 6 April. Treatment of the boilers began at Studsvik’s facilities in mid-April and the final boiler was treated by the end of the year. Following on from this achievement, in November 2012 Studsvik was subsequently awarded the contract for the final 10 boilers at the site.
Studsvik worked with subcontractors to transport and treat over 4000 tonnes of metal in less than 36 months, saving in excess of 5500 cubic metres of space at the LLWR, the equivalent of 291 half height ISO containers. This is a huge achievement and is evidence of direct application of the government waste hierarchy and an excellent example of technology and collaboration combined in the ultimate recycling project.
The final boiler was transported through Berkeley town centre to Sharpness docks on 15 March 2013. Once at the docks it was loaded onto a barge and taken down the river Severn to Avonmouth and on to a sea-going vessel to Studsvik’s nuclear licensed site in Sweden for treatment.
In September, Studsvik hosted a commemorative event in recognition of the huge success of the Berkeley boilers project. Key individuals and stakeholders involved in the project were invited to Studsvik’s nuclear licensed site in Sweden to witness the treatment of the last of the 15 boilers that were removed from the Magnox Berkeley site in 2012 and 2013. During the visit, representatives from Magnox and LLWR were presented with engraved plaques that Studsvik had fabricated from completely free released steel from the recycled Berkeley boilers.
The group, which included Studsvik, Magnox and LLWR personnel, undertook a tour of the boilers journey at the site in Studsvik, starting at the harbour where the boilers arrived, before visiting the specialist large components storage hall, the cutting booth and finally moving to the melting facility where the final treatment process takes place. During the tour the guests were able to witness the last remaining portion of boiler 15 being size reduced and sectioned then shot blasted and eventually being sent to the furnace for the final melt.
The Berkeley boilers project has had many successes, however the most tangible is the sheer amount of metal recycled at the Studsvik facility, saving valuable space in the LLWR and contributing significantly to the implementation of the UK Government’s National LLW Policy.
© Magnox 2014