Phase two of Sellafield project contracted

Paul Boughton

The Babcock-Bechtel joint venture Bechtel Babcock Nuclear Solutions (BBNS) has been contracted by Sellafield Ltd to move into phase two of the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo Retrieval Project, Silo Doors & Retrieval Modules (SDRM), having successfully completed phase one.

Retrieval of the fuel cladding and other intermediate level waste (ILW) from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo is a high priority for Sellafield Ltd – the company responsible for safely delivering decommissioning, reprocessing, and nuclear waste management activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

BBNS was awarded the SDRM contract last year, covering detail design, procurement, manufacture, works testing, delivery to site, installation and commissioning of silo doors and retrieval and waste handling modules, together with a hole cutting system. The three-phase project will take around six years to complete.

Successful delivery of phase one (mobilisation and project familiarisation) ahead of schedule and under budget has now facilitated the move into phase two, involving completion of the design, specifications, procurement packages and safety case support. This phase is expected to take 18 months, and, if successful, will be followed by procurement, manufacture, works testing, construction, installation and commissioning under phase three.

Finalising the complex retrieval design will be a key challenge in this second phase, involving a significant design resource to meet the project’s demanding timescales. Additionally, the BBNS team are accelerating a key design element of the project, the Retrievals Access Penetration, so that the operational requirements of the design can be tested and confirmed as early as possible.  

The BBNS team, which combines the skills and expertise of two nuclear industry leaders, is fully integrated with Sellafield Ltd’s own to deliver this contract, working together to deliver the SDRM project successfully on-schedule, in-budget, and in full compliance with all safety and quality standards.  The BBNS and Sellafield Ltd teams are co-located wherever practicable to further aid effective close working.

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