UK's Bradwell site enters care and maintenance

30 November 2018

In a first for the UK nuclear industry, Magnox has announced that the Bradwell site in Essex, England has entered care and maintenance (C&M). Both of the nuclear power plant's reactor buildings have been defuelled, decommissioned and covered in weatherproof cladding to create 'safestores' - with all intermediate level waste (ILW) packaged and safely stored on site.

Bradwell in November 2018 (Image: UK Government)

Bradwell's Magnox-type reactors were brought into service in 1962 and are two of the UK’s oldest. They generated low-carbon electricity for more than 40 years.

Magnox and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said Bradwell has been a "pathfinder” site - delivering hazard reduction "safer and sooner", making many first-of-a-kind innovations and developing innovative approaches to decommissioning. For example, the equipment and techniques developed to retrieve, condition and package ILW are now being used to progress decommissioning and hazard reduction work at other Magnox sites.

Minister for Business and Industry Richard Harrington said: "Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we want to keep the UK as a world leader in cutting-edge decommissioning, which has significant export opportunities, delivering highly skilled jobs, innovation and regional growth."

NDA Chief Executive David Peattie said: “Together we have developed a vision for our 17 sites around the UK, with ambitious targets to accelerate decommissioning and secure savings.”

Simon Bowen, on behalf of the Cavendish Fluor Partnership - the joint venture which owns Magnox - said: "From the ambition to mobilise and fund the accelerated programme; the drive and determination of the Bradwell team, the support from other Magnox sites and programme teams, along with the supply chain - this has truly been a team effort."

The site will now be managed by Sizewell A. Entry to the reactors and associated buildings will only be required once year initially and then every five years for routine inspection and maintenance. It continues to receive ILW packages from Dungeness A Site in Kent and Sizewell A Site in Suffolk. These will be stored in the site's interim storage facility along with Bradwell's waste packages.

Magnox is the management and operations contractor responsible for 12 nuclear sites and one hydroelectric plant in the UK. Under contract to the site owner, the NDA, the company is responsible for defuelling at Wylfa, and the decommissioning of Berkeley, Bradwell, Chapelcross, Dungeness A, Harwell, Hinkley Point A, Hunterston A, Oldbury, Sizewell A, Trawsfynydd and Winfrith nuclear sites as well as non-nuclear electricity generation at Maentwrog.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News