Risk & Hazard Reduction

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Strategy, approved by the Secretary of State for Energy and Scottish Ministers in March 2011 has at its heart the priority of reducing risk and hazard and to deliver the clean-up mission cost-effectively.

This is particularly relevant at Sellafield where the Legacy Ponds and Silos pose the most significant challenges, and where it is essential that tangible, demonstrable progress is made.

The Legacy Ponds and Silos comprise of four main plants on the site which were used historically to prepare fuel for reprocessing or store waste.
They are:

  • Pile Fuel Storage Pond
  • First Generation Magnox Storage Pond
  • Magnox Swarf Storage Silos
  • Pile Fuel Cladding Silo

Radioactive materials have accumulated and remain since operations ended. For over five decades plant conditions have deteriorated and there is now an increased urgency to reduce the risk they pose. The facilities were not designed with decommissioning in mind so innovative technology is being used to retrieve the radioactive material for storage in modern containment facilities, ahead of its subsequent treatment, packaging and storage.

The importance placed on making real progress in this area has driven the increase of resources the Government and NDA have made available at Sellafield, as referred to in the Overview section of this document.

The work programmes to deliver risk and hazard reduction in the Legacy Ponds and Silos are detailed in this section of the plan and are a national priority.