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Dismantling nuclear reactors in Snowdonia; should be cleaned up by 2083, if We’re lucky

Trawsfynydd: Nuclear reactors to go under new decommissioning plan, By George Herd, BBC News, 30 July 2020   

Plans have been unveiled to remove nuclear reactors and towers at a former power plant in Snowdonia.

It follows a decision to name Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd as the lead project for former Magnox stations in the UK.

The twin reactors will become the very first in the UK to be fully decommissioned.

It should safeguard hundreds of jobs at the plant for 20 years, and help drive decommissioning plans at other sites.

There are 10 former Magnox nuclear power stations in the UK, which have all now stopped generating electricity – the last being Wylfa on Anglesey in 2015.

Trawsfynydd was shut down in 1991 after operating for a quarter of a century.

Under original plans, the twin reactor buildings that tower over the landscape were due to be reduced in height by two-thirds, and then left in a care and maintenance phase, before the site is completely cleared in 2083.

The new programme will see the remaining reactor buildings demolished, while a new low-level radioactive waste store is built on the site to hold the material.

Magnox, which operates the site on behalf of the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said it estimated there would be 50,000 cubic metres of very low or low-level waste retained, until a new geological waste disposal site is identified by the UK government. …..

Magnox said it was still in the “early days” of planning the next phase of active decommissioning at Trawsfynydd, and would be launching consultations with stakeholders, including the community.

It said it envisaged a 20 year programme to:

  • Remove the reactor building’s concrete panel outer shell down to ground level
  • Remove the six 1,000 tonne boilers stored in sections and the 45 tonne overhead crane from each reactor, for off-site disposal
  • Remove the reactors, their components and the reactor core
  • Demolish the remaining reactor buildings

State of the art robotics and remote handling will be used to dismantle Trawsfynydd’s twin reactors and “minimise the risk of radiation dose to workers”.

Magnox said it still expected the site to be completely cleared by the 2083 target……

“There is a duty on the nuclear sector and today’s electricity users to take responsibility for the clear-up of sites, and Trawsfynydd’s twin reactors will be the first to be completely decommissioned in the United Kingdom,” said the Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd. “In this respect, work undertaken here will lead the entire sector, and open opportunities for a whole new generation of engineers.”….

August 1, 2020 - Posted by | decommission reactor, UK

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