£50m contract for storage of historic nuclear waste

23rd June 2015

Sellafield Ltd, the company responsible for delivering decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear legacy has announced that Metalcraft has been awarded a contract potentially valued at £50 million, for the provision of high-integrity stainless steel storage containers for nuclear waste.

Metalcraft was chosen not just because of the quality and value for money it could offer to fulfil the contract to the standards required to store nuclear waste, but in particular the socio-economic commitments it made to deliver a package which includes new jobs, apprenticeships and training development to advance the capability of manufacturing skills.

In addition Metalcraft has committed to a new facility in West Cumbria for the finishing of boxes for the Phase 2 contract, subject to successful sanction to proceed.

The three metre cube boxes will provide a safe and secure storage solution for historic nuclear waste that is to be retrieved from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo on the Sellafield site. Some 2,200 three metre cube boxes will be manufactured.

Retrieving waste from this facility is an integral part of the long term plan to reduce the hazard on Europe’s most complex nuclear site, by cleaning up and decommissioning the oldest facilities, some of which date back to the 1940s.

This contract is the first of two contracts to be let to ensure security of supply and an announcement will be made on the second contract shortly.  The initial stage will prove volume production can be achieved to the required quality and throughput rate, and then steady state volume production will manufacture the bulk of the boxes.

This is also the first programme of boxes required for the storage of historic nuclear waste at Sellafield and a second larger programme will require the manufacture of thousands more boxes in support of decommissioning a second historic waste storage silo.

The Pile Fuel Cladding Silo (PFCS) was developed in the late 1940s, built in 1951, and officially began to receive waste in 1952.  Its primary role was to store radioactive fuel cladding from the military Windscale Piles and later from Calder Hall and Chapelcross Magnox reactors.


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