The first facility for the retrieval of plutonium contaminated materials (PCM) at the UK's low level waste (LLW) Drigg repository in Cumbria has been safely demolished, according to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). It is one of five similar facilities remaining on the site.
Removal of the Magazine 4 Retrieval Facility (MRF), a concrete bunker dating from the 1990s, has "set the template" for the future demolition of other such facilities on site, NDA said. PCM senior project manager Carl Smith said the achievement has "proven the demolition method for the MRF". The contractor for the demolition was UK-based KDC. "This will be reviewed as part of the post-project review to identify any improvements and efficiencies for the future demolition phases," Smith added.
The MRFs were built to store munitions such as TNT during the Second World War. PCM from operations at the country's Sellafield nuclear complex was later stored in some MRFs and, in the 1990s, retrieval facilities were built for the removal, packaging and transport of the waste for safe storage in modern, purpose-built facilities at Sellafield. All remaining magazines at Drigg will be demolished to make way for new vaults.