Contract for Sellafield liquid waste project

05 July 2010

A contract for the highly-active liquid effluent facility project at the UK's Sellafield nuclear site has been awarded to the HALEF Partnership - a consortium comprising Amec, Areva and Balfour Beatty. 


The planned highly-active liquid effluent facility will be used to store radioactive waste arising from nuclear fuel reprocessing operations at the Sellafield site. The facility will comprise a series of high integrity highly active storage tanks and associated process equipment housed in a seismically reinforced concrete building.


The initial phase of the multi-million pound contract will span two years and will commence immediately. It will require the consortium to work in partnership with Sellafield Ltd to further develop the concept design up to a point where the project definition and design can be fixed in order to determine the subsequent scope, schedule and cost for the construction phase of the project. Areva put the cost of the initial phase at over £250 million ($380 million). This may be followed by a four-year procurement construction and commissioning phase, due to start in mid-2012.


Under the terms of the contract, Amec will provide project management and detailed design and installation of mechanical, electrical and control systems. Areva will provide engineering management and process design services in addition to procurement and commissioning of highly active storage tanks and associated equipment. Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the design and construction of civil and building works and for civil, structural and architectural design.


Allan Townson, new build project strategy manager at Sellafield Ltd, commented: "We are pleased to be able to award this contract to the HALEF Partnership and look forward to working in close partnership with the consortium in order to deliver a safe, reliable and cost effective highly-active liquid effluent facility for our customer, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)."


The Sellafield site is home to two nuclear fuel reprocessing plants. The Magnox reprocessing plant deals with metal fuel from UK and overseas early nuclear reactors (such as the Calder Hall power station at Sellafield). The Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp) deals with oxide fuels from British Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGR) and light water reactors from around the world.


In May, construction was completed of a new facility for the safe and secure storage of nuclear materials produced as a result of reprocessing operations carried out at Sellafield.


The Sellafield Product and Residues Store (SPRS) is the first major project to be completed by Sellafield Ltd under the ownership of Nuclear Management Partners (NMP). It has been completed on behalf of the site owner, the NDA.


One of the key purposes of the store is to accommodate materials already at Sellafield which need to be retrieved from older facilities, repackaged and placed in a modern facility. It will receive materials recovered from historic fuel manufacturing buildings that are now being decommissioned.


NMP is a consortium made up of URS of the USA, Amec of the UK and France's Areva. From November 2008, it took over the operational and decommissioning work at Sellafield, one of the largest nuclear sites in the world. The contract is worth a whopping £1.3 billion ($2.3 billion) per year, with scope for a £50 million ($88 million) bonus for performance and efficiency.


Researched and written  

by World Nuclear News 


Filed under: This article is not categorised