North­ern firms help clean pond at Sel­lafield

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS - Grace Ham­mond BUSINESS RE­PORTER @york­shire­post

A chain of North­ern com­pa­nies have be­gun man­u­fac­tur­ing con­tain­ers to store ra­dioac­tive waste from one of the UK’s most im­por­tant nu­clear de­com­mis­sion­ing projects.

Busi­nesses in York­shire, Lan­cashire, and Cum­bria are join­ing forces to pro­duce self-shielded boxes which will store legacy waste from the First Gen­er­a­tion Mag­nox Stor­age Pond at Sel­lafield.

The 66-year old open air pond was orig­i­nally used to store nu­clear fuel from the UK’s first gen­er­a­tion of nu­clear power sta­tions. It has been pri­ori­tised for clean-up by the Nu­clear De­com­mis­sion­ing Author­ity. The clean-up work re­quires the man­u­fac­ture of hun­dreds of boxes to store ma­te­rial taken out of the fa­cil­ity. The fi­nal num­ber needed is still to be de­cided but the work could ul­ti­mately be worth be­tween £50m and £100m.

Brig­house-based Arthur Jack­son & Co has made in­tri­cate wooden ‘pat­terns’ to cre­ate moulds into which molten iron can be poured to cast the boxes. The Shake­speare Foundry, in Pre­ston, has made the mould and poured the iron. While Black­burn-based Eaves will carry out pre­ci­sion ma­chin­ing to make holes for process ports, fil­ters and bolts.

Dorothy Grad­den, head of legacy ponds at Sel­lafield, said: “This is the North­ern Pow­er­house in ac­tion – a chain of man­u­fac­tur­ing spe­cial­ists, some of whom are de­liv­er­ing prod­ucts for the nu­clear in­dus­try for the first time, are step­ping up and help­ing us achieve one of the most im­por­tant projects in de­com­mis­sion­ing the UK’s civil nu­clear legacy.”

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