In a first in the UK, Studsvik have managed the removal of 5 of the iconic Berkeley boilers from the Magnox Berkeley site. The 300 tonne boilers, which are 21 metres long and 5 metres in diameter, have been moved whole through the town and onwards to Sharpness docks.
Studsvik was awarded the contract for transport and treatment of the boilers last November via a competitive tendering process through the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) on behalf of Magnox Ltd. Sam Usher, Studsvik UK President added “Studsvik is delighted to be working with LLWR and Magnox Ltd on this flagship project for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The removal and treatment of the boilers is a significant milestone for the UK nuclear industry in the decommissioning of UK legacy sites”.
All 5 boilers have made their way to Avonmouth being transported by road to Sharpness Docks and on to Avonmouth by barge. From here they will make the journey to Studsvik’s own specialist nuclear facilities in Sweden to be recycled.
The first boiler was moved in what can only be described as an outstanding effort by all involved. Studsvik’s heavy lift contactors ALE have worked closely with the Studsvik project team to deliver the project safely and on time. The boilers were wished well on their journey by a large crowd in Berkeley town, including local school children. Penny Wride, SSG Chairman said:"This is absolutely amazing, and can only be described as the ultimate recycling project."
Three days later, when boilers 2 and 3 were transported, Magnox held a VIP event where stakeholders were given the opportunity to have photos taken with boilers and a commemorative video was played. Even with all of the commotion of the morning the project team managed to continue with operations, leaving site and arriving at the docks on schedule. The final two boilers were moved successfully on a few days later. This is a massive achievement for Studsvik and the UK nuclear decommissioning programme managed by the NDA.
Once in Sweden, Studsvik will treat the boilers using a range of techniques in it’s purpose built, engineered facilities for the size reduction, decontamination and recycling of metals. Over 90% of the metal is expected to be released for re-use in the metal market saving valuable space at the UK’s LLWR. Sam Usher, President of Studsvik UK said: “Studsvik has been treating similar large low level radioactive metallic waste items using proven techniques for over 20 years in Sweden, arising from decommissioned nuclear facilities. This route of processing and recycling is fully in line with implementing the NDA’s National Low Level Waste Strategy”.
There now remain 10 boilers on site at Berkeley, awaiting approval of treatment in line with Magnox’s decommissioning plans.