At Sellafield an integrated nuclear waste management programme is in place which seeks to reduce waste volumes arising as part of current activities as well as historic operations. It ensures that waste is stored safely, minimising the risk to the public and the environment.
Effluent management at Sellafield is carried out in two groups of plants. The first is the low active effluent plants and includes; the Enhanced Actinide Removal Plant (EARP), the Solvent Treatment Plant (STP), the Salt Evaporator Plant (SEP), the Separation Area Lagoon, the Medium Active Liquor Tank Farm and the Segregated Effluent Treatment Plant.
The second is the Site Ion Exchange Plant, also known as SIXEP.
Site Ion Exchange Plant
This facility was designed to remove solids and soluble radioactive caesium and strontium from pond water purges prior to discharge, store waste solids from this process and to help maintain the thermal conditions of the pond water in the Fuel Handling Plant.
Medium Active Liquor Tank Farm
This facility provides buffer capacity for day-to-day plant operations in both Thorp and Magnox reprocessing plants. It also provides an interim storage facility for solvent and aqueous liquors before they are processed in the Enhanced Actinide Removal Plant and the Solvent Treatment Plant.
Enhanced Actinide Removal Plant
This facility supports plants associated with both Thorp and Magnox reprocessing. It provides the means for the removal of radioactive components from liquid waste streams.
Salt Evaporator Plant
This building supports the operation of the Thorp and Magnox reprocessing plants. Its function is to evaporate high ‘salt’ liquors that would otherwise limit the evaporation factors achieved in other on-site evaporators.
Solvent Treatment Plant
This facility is used for the treatment of waste solvent from Thorp, Magnox and historic solvent in storage. It is the only UK facility which can process radioactive solvent.
Segregated Effluent Treatment Plant
The Segregated Effluent Treatment Plant receives, neutralises and buffer-stores low active effluents to facilitate sampling and analysis prior to discharge to the Break Pressure Tank and to sea.
Separation Area Lagoon
This lagoon provides a collection and discharge facility for surface water drainage and pumped groundwater from the Separation Area – which is home to some of the oldest buildings on the Sellafield site