Winfrith Magnox Waste Transfer Step Completed

A major project to dispose of more than 1,000 stainless steel drums of waste at Nuclear Waste Services’ Low Level Waste Repository site from the Winfrith Magnox site, each weighing around one metric ton, has successfully completed its initial rail transfer.

Winfrith Magnox site transferThe milestone was announced by Nuclear Waste Services along with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Magnox Ltd.

The project, which has been several years in the planning, is a prime example of the One NDA approach, through working in co-operation across the group, safely enabling an early, fit-for-purpose transport and disposal solution to support ongoing decommissioning activities.

The drums, which originated from the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR) at Winfrith, were placed in the Treated Radwaste Store (TRS) awaiting transfer to the Harwell Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) facility. However due to a period of radioactive decay, they have been reclassified from Intermediate Level Waste to Low Level Waste, allowing early disposal at the Repository site with significant financial savings to the UK taxpayer.

Winfrith Site Director Andrew Munro said, “the shipment of these drums is a significant achievement for the site and is another step closer to completing our decommissioning mission and returning the site to heathland with public access.”

The drums will be transported by rail in cabriolet containers and will arrive at the Repository site in multiple consignments. Planning and preparation were key to the success of this project. The construction of a new haul road has been undertaken to transport the drums to their final resting place in Vault 8.

A drum posting system will be installed on the vault floor, which aids location of the drum stacks, making best use of available space. Disposal of the waste in single drums enables Nuclear Waste Services to utilise otherwise unusable space within the vault, reducing the amount of in-fill material required to close it.

Eleven consignments, each transporting 10 cabriolet containers of 10 drums, will arrive on site by rail transfer provided by Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS), approximately every 13 weeks, depending on the retrievals process at Winfrith.

Over five years of collaborative planning and preparation by Nuclear Waste Services, Magnox Ltd, Nuclear Transport Solutions, along with supply chain partners, paved the path for this success. Cyclife, React Engineering, PDL and Stobbarts contributed to the project.

Ongoing, the Magnox team will continue to retrieve drums, and Nuclear Waste Services will start the preparations for the first container emplacements to take place later this year.

Anonymous comments will be moderated. Join for free and post now! 

  • Anonymous

    Great article!

    Just another example of the rest of the world getting ahead of the USA in clean energy. Maybe those of us old Uranium mining folks will live to see the day when people understand that "NUCS -R-GREEN". Nuclear power is how God runs the universe. He gave us fire, and chemistry, but, by orders of magnitude Nuclear Energy