Stainless Metalcraft To Build 1,000 Storage Boxes

Sellafield Ltd said Tuesday it had awarded a contract to Stainless Metalcraft to manufacture up to 1,000 stainless steel boxes that will store radioactive wastes retrieved from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo (PFCS) and Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS) at Sellafield, Europe's largest and most diverse nuclear processing and research facility. 

waste storage boxesThe contract marks a move to the second phase of Sellafield Ltd’s association with the British manufacturer that won an initial contract to prototype, refine and build a pre-production batch of 50 boxes in 2015.

With the first trial waste retrievals from the PFCS set to begin this year, Stainless Metalcraft will play a key role in the UK’s most important hazard and risk reduction jobs, Sellafield said.

The firm has successfully established a steady-state production of around 2 boxes per week, and phase 2 of the contract will see Stainless Metalcraft produce a further 1,000 over the next decade.

The boxes are a key enabler of waste retrieval operations at the PFCS and MSSS; some of the world’s oldest nuclear stores and 2 priority projects for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

"Retrieval of wastes from Sellafield’s Legacy Ponds and Silos is nationally important work, and we’re dedicated to ensuring this is done as safely, quickly and cost-effectively as possible," said Susan Lussem, Sellafield Ltd supply chain director.

Noting waste removal means "a huge reduction in the UK’s nuclear hazard," Lussem said confidence in the storage system must precede operations. "Before we can remove the waste we have to be confident we have somewhere safe to put it and that we have a reliable supply of containers for decades to come."

The three-meter cubed boxes are built from duplex stainless steel and are highly engineered to allow any hydrogen to be safely vented. Each box weighs over a metric ton and is designed to safely store radioactive waste for at least 500 years.

Once filled, the boxes will be transported to interim stores on the Sellafield site before final disposal in a geological disposal facility.

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