5 Feb (NucNet): A consortium comprised of the German M+W Group and the UK’s James Fisher Nuclear has won a £150 million (€190 million) contract for the development of a nuclear waste storage facility at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, northwest England.
Stuttgart-based M+W Group said in a statement that the contract, awarded by Sellafield Ltd, the company that manages and operates the site, includes the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of a nuclear waste import and storage facility which will be designed and built especially for the Sellafield site.
The project, called the Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store Direct Import Facility, will provide the capability to transfer and store contained intermediate-level waste (ILW).
The statement said the facility, scheduled for completion in 2017, will play an integral part in the long-term plan to reduce the hazard on the Sellafield site.
Sellafield is Europe’s most complex nuclear site and needs an ILW storage facility to accommodate waste generated from the demolition of some of the site’s buildings.
In January 2015, the UK government stripped the private consortium Nuclear Management Partners of the contract to clean up the Sellafield site.
The Sellafield site, where clean-up work is overseen on behalf of the government by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), comprises of a range of nuclear facilities, including redundant facilities associated with early defence work, as well as operating facilities associated with the Magnox reprocessing programme, the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp), the Sellafield mixed oxide (MOX) fuel plant and a range of waste treatment plants.
It began life in the early 1950s making plutonium for nuclear weapons, and later that decade became the location of Calder Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear power station.
In June 2014, the NDA said the total cost of work to clean up the Sellafield site would be £79.1 billion, an increase from a February 2013 estimate of £67.5 billion. The NDA said the increase reflected the cost of “additional work”.