Studsvik to finish Berkeley boiler job

06 November 2012

Swedish decommissioning company Studsvik has won a £15 million ($24 million) contract to remove and treat the final heat exchangers remaining at the UK's shut-down Berkeley nuclear power plant.

Berkeley boiler (Magnox)_200
Berkeley's remaining boilers currently sit outside the sealed units (Image: Magnox)

UK waste management company LLW Repository Ltd (LLWR) awarded the contract to Studsvik after the company successfully completed the removal of five heat exchangers from the site in March 2012. The new contract will see the remaining ten heat exchangers transported by road and sea to Studsvik's site at Nyköping in Sweden, where the company has specialised facilities for volume reduction, decontamination and recycling of heat exchangers and other large components. The giant boilers, which are over 20m long and weigh over 300 tonnes each, will make their final journey to Sweden in early 2013.

LLWR is acting on behalf of Berkeley site manager Magnox Ltd in the procurement and contract management. Studsvik UK is a member of LLWR's parent body organization.

Studsvik UK president Sam Usher said the company was looking forward to working again with the LLWR and Magnox team following the success of the project to remove the first five boilers, describing the plans as "economically and environmentally beneficial." Steve McNally, Magnox site director for Berkeley, said the removal of the boilers would be a major decommissioning milestone in preparing the site for the care and maintenance phase.

Berkeley's two Magnox units were shut down in the late 1980s after over a quarter of a century of electricity generation. Each unit had eight heat exchangers housed in boiler houses outside the main reactor buildings. As part of the decommissioning process, the sixteen heat exchangers were lowered to the ground and laid down in a horizontal position around the main reactor buildings, which have now been sealed in a passive state, known as Safestore.

Earlier plans had foreseen the boilers being left in this position during the care and maintenance period until final site clearance begins in 2074. However, trials on one of the boilers demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of decontamination and recycling, and Studsvik was subsequently contracted to remove and treat the first five of the remaining fifteen boilers in November 2011.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News