Magnox Swarf Storage Silos

Sellafield Ltd

Reprocessing of Magnox fuel requires removal of the cladding from the uranium fuel elements – this was stored under water in specially built silos, which were constructed between 1964 and 1983. Other waste is also stored in these silos. Swarf storage results in the release of gaseous hydrogen - the plant design and operations ensure that the heat and hydrogen cannot build up and risk exceeding safe levels.

The silos now need safely emptying and decommissioning, which presents challenges given the variety of wastes to be treated. RPS is supporting Sellafield Ltd by providing safety case support for the facility, as well as support to the retrievals project. We have developed a unique strategy to add defence-in-depth by design of operational and safety management systems to authorise and control the retrievals and waste treatment process. Application across the stream integrates R&D, sampling and waste handling, helping to maximise the retrievals rate – vital to achieve timely hazard reduction.