Magnox Ltd has completed an eight-year asbestos removal project at the Chapelcross nuclear site in the UK one year ahead of schedule and £5 million under budget.
The project, which involved removal of 3300t of asbestos from the turbine hall, four reactor buildings and 16 heat exchangers at the site, is thought to be the largest known asbestos strip in Europe.
More than one million bags of asbestos waste were sent to licensed landfill sites over the course of the project, which ended in March.
Before asbestos removal started in 2009, a containment structure was constructed around each of the 16 heat exchangers. Comprising 506,246 feet of steel scaffolding, 48.8t of steel strengthening and 24,000 square metres of sheeting, the structure took 39,000 man-hours to erect.
Once the bulk asbestos was removed, the steelwork was fine-cleaned and taken back to bare metal before being washed down. The fibre levels inside and adjacent to the enclosure were monitored.
Overall the project came in at £38 million, significantly under the budgeted £43 million.
"This is a tremendous achievement for Chapelcross and OCS Environmental Services; the safe, early and cost efficient delivery is testament to the quality of the personnel working on the project," said site director John Grierson. "It is a major milestone in moving the site towards a care and maintenance state and demonstrates our commitment to excellence in nuclear decommissioning."
Photo: Chapelcross asbestos project (Credit: NDA)