Divers are being used to clean-up the former cooling ponds at a Kent power station as part of a pioneering nuclear decommissioning programme. The first work of its kind in the UK, it will see the pond skips at Dungeness that were once used to store used nuclear fuel cut up and packaged for disposal, while the water that remains in the ponds will act as additional radiation protection for the divers. The technique also has additional environmental benefits, as the alternative of cutting skips after they have been removed from the ponds would require additional measures to prevent potential airborne contamination. During electricity generation, the ponds were used to store used nuclear fuel in skips before it was sent off site for reprocessing. The site has been fuel free for more than four years after being decommissioned in 2006, but the skips, which are classed as intermediate level waste, need to be safely disposed of.
Kent News 24th Oct 2016 read more »