The first waste box containing material from the Windscale AGR core has reached the on-site intermediate level waste (ILW) storage facility. The operation marks the start of the “active commissioning phase” which includes the full dismantling of the core. The project will continue until 2006 and require 144 ILW waste boxes.
The box contains coolant channel valve piping , previously stored in empty fuel channels. Once the channels are cleared, the rest of the core, including the neutron shield, graphite blocks and restraint structure, thermal shield and pressure vessel, will be dismantled, placed in waste boxes, grouted and sealed.
The UK Atomic Energy Authority manages the project. The prime contractor is BNFL Magnox Generation.
WAGR is one of the European Union’s four demonstration projects aimed at developing the technology for decommissioning power reactors.