The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said construction of an aluminium "weather envelope" has been built around the two reactor structures at the UK's closed Bradwell nuclear plant in Essex, in preparation for an 80-year period of care and maintenance. The former Magnox nuclear plant operated from 1962 to 2002. The new construction "is the biggest transformation" in the site's appearance since the plant was built in the 1950s, according to NDA.
The project was undertaken in conjunction with UK-based contract partner Vinci Construction. More than 28,000 individual fittings have been used to build the weather envelope, NDA said. "Preparing for an 80-year care and maintenance period often means building things as well as demolishing them. This is the biggest construction project we will undertake and completing it safely is a huge step towards our end goal of closing this phase of decommissioning," Bradwell closure director Scott Raish said.
Twenty-six Magnox units were built in the UK between 1956 and 1971. Magnox reactors were the first generation of NPPs to operate in the UK. Magnox Limited is responsible for decommissioning the twin unit site. It was announced last year that China plans to deploy its own reactor design at Bradwell in a first for Chinese indigenous reactor technology in the West.