A brand new plant is ready to help empty Sellafield’s most hazardous nuclear waste stores
The Silos Maintenance Facility will house and maintain the machinery that will remove the waste from two of the oldest plants on site.
Awarded in 2014, the £250 million contract saw Sellafield Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Cavendish Nuclear work together to design, construct, install and test the Silos Maintenance Facility.
Following a nine year construction period, the new Silos Maintenance Facility will host critical machinery in the nuclear decommissioning process and ensures it can be maintained in a safe, secure environment.
The nuclear site is moving into a 100 year programme of environmental remediation, accelerating the decommissioning of old facilities and moving the waste into safe containment for centuries to come.
Iain Wilson, Director of Nuclear at Balfour Beatty, said: “The completion of the Silos Maintenance Facility represents a significant milestone, integral to Sellafield’s long-term waste retrieval hazard reduction programme.
“From the initial design phase through to completion, we have applied our expertise to provide a fully integrated solution which will ensure the safe and secure operation of the Sellafield nuclear site for centuries to come.”
Chris Halliwell, Head of the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo for Sellafield Ltd said: “Getting this new facility ready is a huge success story for the Sellafield clean-up mission.
“It will play an important role in the UK’s hazard reduction programme and is testament to the collaboration between Sellafield Ltd and our supply chain partners, Balfour Beatty and Cavendish Nuclear.
“Not only was the project delivered to time and budget but it also has an impeccable safety record, to have had five and a half years without an accident on a construction site of this scale is no mean feat.
“Congratulations to all those who have played their part and those who will safely operate the plant as it makes Sellafield safer, sooner.”
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 26,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
- Our main geographies are the UK, US and Hong Kong. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
- Balfour Beatty began its association with nuclear power at Calder Hall, Cumberland, when in 1953 the company delivered all lighting for the UK’s first nuclear power station. In subsequent decades, the business has delivered over 70 nuclear projects for over 40 clients which have allowed us to develop our nuclear expertise, particularly in the areas of electrical and civil engineering. As the UK takes its next steps forward towards a low-carbon economy, Balfour Beatty has forged new partnerships with businesses that will help it maintain its position at the centre of British electricity generation.
- At Sellafield, in joint venture with Jacobs and Amec Foster Wheeler, Balfour Beatty is constructing a £300m Box Encapsulation Plant, which is a significant asset within the site’s decommissioning strategy and will treat, immobilise and prepare nuclear waste for long-term storage.
- In January 2019, Balfour Beatty was appointed to deliver a £214 million contract to provide 400kV overhead lines from Hinkley Point C on behalf of National Grid. As part of the contract, Balfour Beatty will design, supply, install, test and commission a new overhead line spanning 48.4 kilometres and crossing through the Mendip Hills in Somerset. On completion, the new line will connect the power station with a new substation in Avonmouth, Bristol. This contract represents the fourth major piece of work won by Balfour Beatty for the new power station, following the electrical works package in joint venture with NG Bailey in 2015, now part of the MEH Joint Venture, the tunnelling and marine works package in 2017 and the 8.5-kilometre cabling contract won in 2018.