The team at Berkeley Site has safely transferred the first concrete box of radioactive waste into the site’s purpose-built waste store.

The transfer is a landmark for Magnox’s mission to clean-up the UK’s former civil nuclear sites, involving the development of a brand new waste storage package and innovative waste retrieval techniques.

Mike Heaton, Berkeley Site Director, said: “Leading the way with this trailblazing, first-of-a-kind work, the team has installed technology which enables remote access to Berkeley’s underground waste vaults to safely retrieve, package and treat intermediate level waste.

“The new concrete box, that has been developed and used for the first time by Magnox at Berkeley, has been approved by our regulators for disposal. The boxes will be held at Berkeley for interim storage until a national repository becomes available.”

The remote handling tools and techniques developed ensure our complex decommissioning work is delivered in the safest way possible for our people, while ensuring waste created as a result of electricity generation is successfully retrieved to allow our sites to be used for their next purpose.

Paul Winkle, Magnox Chief Operating Officer, said: “I was delighted to see the team at Berkeley successfully transfer the concrete box to the interim storage facility. This required a great team effort from across Magnox with excellent support and cooperation from our suppliers, regulators and colleagues across the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority group. Well done and thank you to everybody who contributed to this pioneering success.”

David Stollard, Programme Manager for the NDA, said: “This is a significant milestone in our mission to safely and securely decommission our legacy nuclear sites. It was fantastic to see first-hand the culmination of many years of hard work and planning.

“It’s a collective achievement that the whole team are rightfully proud of and we will be looking to take forward the lessons learned and apply them across our other sites.”

This marks another successful delivery of Magnox’s commitment to safe hazard reduction which has already seen the demolition of buildings and removal of redundant equipment at Berkeley, including the site’s 310-tonne steel boilers, all 15 of which were sustainably recycled for future use.