Nuclear reprocessing company Sellafield yesterday that is was pushing ahead with plans to speed up the removal of uranium reserves from its Capenhurst site in Cheshire.
It is developing two projects that aim to reduce Capenhurst’s overall radioactivity hazards and maximise the value of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) uranium assets at the site.
The two projects are:
Export Capability Project (ECP) which will focus on ensuring that the entire stock of depleted uranium, currently stored safely at the site in mild steel drums, is repackaged for transport. It is also developing a new goods import/export capability and railhead for the site to minimise future road journeys. This could reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with traffic to the site by 96%.
Cylinder Handling Facility - CHF will be designed to sample, characterise and repack into transport compliant containers the entire stock of uranium hexafluoride at the site.
“The rationale for this funding is to advance these projects to a point just short of construction over the next few years,” said head of the Capenhurst project delivery group Craig Rogers.
“Our task is to demonstrate that we can deliver overall hazard reduction at the site and also deliver value for the NDA through the progression of these projects. If the answer is yes we’ll be looking at substantial investment - up to £100M - in the site to build and commission.”