A state of the art facility for the storage of the nation’s low level nuclear waste opened at the Nuclear Decimmisiong Authority’s site near Drigg in Cumbria on Thursday.
Vault 9 has a capacity of 110,000 cubic metres and has been designed to meet the stringent requirements of the UK’s nuclear and environmental regulators. Since the early days of planning Vault 9, the emphasis has switched from single solution disposal of Low Level Waste, which consumes capacity at the LLW Repository, to smarter strategies that help make best use of the site.
This is being achieved by waste minimisation and recycling, particularly of metals. Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) is NDA’s partner in championing the opening up of diverse waste management routes in line with the 2007 Government Low Level Waste policy.
“The three-way partnership of the site operator LLWR Ltd, UK Waste Management Partners and NDA has been instrumental in delivering this impressive facility,” said NDA’s head of waste and nuclear materials Phil Davies. “Having this new Vault in operation is vital. Without Vault 9 important nuclear cleanup programmes and operations would simply stall.”
“We are proud of the professionalism, skills and focused efforts of our own staff and all the contractors involved and express our gratitude for the patience of the local community who have supported us during this hugely important programme of work,” said LLWR managing director Dick Raaz.
Over 98% of the construction materials for the vault for delivered by rail reducing the number of potential deliveries by 27,500.