Sellafield Ltd. in Britain said that it would close down the aging Magnox plant with its final reprocessing to take place in July 2022. This would have the Sellafield site, "enter a new era of clean-up and decommissioning," the government program said.
Sellafield said, "It will mark the end of an operational journey that began in 1964."
The plant played a crucial role in UK energy generation. It received and reprocessed nearly 55,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from power stations across the country, as well as Italy and Japan.
The reprocessing plant allowed the UK’s 11 Magnox power stations to keep low carbon electricity flowing to homes and businesses in England, Scotland, and Wales.
The final Magnox station closed in 2015. Spent fuel from the UK’s current fleet of AGR nuclear power stations will continue to be sent for storage at Sellafield.
"The end of reprocessing at Magnox marks the successful completion of the NDA’s Magnox Operating Program," said David Peattie, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
"It’s the culmination of decades of hard work to safely, securely, and cost-effectively manage the UK’s nuclear legacy," he said noting, "Sellafield can now move from the reprocessing phase of its life into a future focused on decommissioning and clean-up."
Martin Chown, Sellafield Ltd chief executive officer, called this, "a landmark moment for Sellafield."
Employee numbers in the plant will remain roughly similar during the post-operational clean-out phase, which is expected to take about two years.
Anyone whose role is no longer required after this will be redeployed to other work within the company.
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