Northern firms help clean pond at Sellafield
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.”