New £250 Million Silo Maintenance Facility Gets To Work At Sellafield

A new facility designed to support the retrieval of waste from two of Sellafield’s most hazardous legacy facilities has gone active.

The Silo Maintenance Facility will maintain the equipment used to retrieve radioactive waste from two of the Sellafield site’s legacy nuclear waste storage facilities, the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo and the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo.

It will also maintain the flasks that will transport the waste from silos to modern storage facilities that are being constructed on the site.

From major projects to active operations

Over eight years colleagues from Sellafield’s supply chain partners Balfour Beatty and Cavendish worked to build the new facility, with construction and equipment installation completed in April 2019.

The final step was completed recently when the building received its first transport flask from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo, marking the moment it started active operations.

Roddy Miller, Sellafield Ltd’s operations director, said: “It’s an important moment in the life of any facility, stepping into the real world of active operations.

“The Silo Maintenance Facility is a world-class facility geared up to do a vital job for decades to come. Everyone working there can be proud of the part they will be playing to deliver our purpose of creating a clean and safe environment for future generations.”

Emptying the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo

The start of active operations in the Silo Maintenance Facility is the latest in a series of steps forward in Sellafield’s work to empty the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo, moving the waste held inside to modern buildings for safe long-term storage.

Last year the company retrieved the first waste from the silo, and last week installed the second of three retrieval machines into the silo.