The retrieval of mixed waste from the underground chambers at the decommissioned Berkeley nuclear power plant in the UK is progressing. Clearance of these vaults will enable the two Magnox units to enter a period of long-term passive storage. The Berkeley site housed some 620 tonnes of metallic fuel element debris (FED) and 6665 containers – some of which are sludge cans – in three underground vaults. A single silo houses charge rods and the chutes used to discharge fuel from the site’s two Magnox reactors. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said today it achieved its first major milestone in March when the chute silos were declared empty. “Although we originally anticipated that all the material would be intermediate-level waste (ILW), a campaign of innovative retrieval techniques and segregation enabled some of it to be disposed of as low-level waste and very low-level waste, diverting over 50 tonnes away from the site’s interim storage facility and saving millions of pounds,” said Paul Oswald, Berkeley site head of projects.
World Nuclear News 14th June 2016 read more »