Sellafield Ltd. has awarded Bechtel Cavendish Nuclear Solutions (BCNS) a two-year contract extension and added work to the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo (PFCS) project at the Sellafield site in Cumbria, northern England.

Dating back to the early 1950s, the PFCS is a 29m long, 10m wide, 18m high structure that was built to store waste metal cladding from nuclear fuels used in the Windscale piles and later Magnox plants.

BCNS has been working on the PFCS project since 2012. The aim is to deliver a system that allows Sellafield to retrieve the 3200 cubic metres of waste, package it safely, and dispose of it permanently.

This involved installing access doors and remote-handling equipment to retrieve decades-old nuclear waste from sealed compartments in a building described as one of Europe’s most hazardous.

The new contract scope calls for:

  • procurement, manufacture, preparation, installation, and commissioning of additional equipment to allow Sellafield to retrieve waste from the remaining five silo compartments, once the first compartment has been emptied;
  • extension and growth of off-site testing facilities, to develop future systems for use on the retrievals plant; and
  • establishment of a new, centralised control building for all silo monitoring and waste retrieval operations.

Photo: The Sellafield Pile Fuel Cladding Silo is known as one of the four most hazardous buildings in Western Europe