Magnox Ltd has signed framework contracts with Croft Associates Ltd, Chester-Simplex, and Siempelkamp for the supply of transportable self-shielded intermediate level waste (ILW) containers for the UK’s nuclear decommissioning programme.

The six-year framework contracts are worth over £200 million ($327 million), Magnox said. They complement an existing five-year deal signed with Germany’s GNS Ltd in March 2010, which includes options to extend for a further five years.

Overall, Magnox is expected to need "more than 2000" of the cast iron containers, which will store various types of ILW generated during the operational and early decommissioning phases at the UK’s magnox power stations. Once filled the containers will be stored in purpose-build facilities at the sites, until a UK national repository becomes available.

Magnox Ltd told NEI magazine that to date 68 boxes have been delivered. A further 316 containers have been ordered and 236 have been manufactured, but not delivered as yet.

The first orders under the new frameworks will be for 50 containers from each supplier, and are expected "early in 2014," according to Magnox.

Magnox Ltd, currently owned by EnergySolutions, is managing the operation of the ten legacy magnox sites on behalf of the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Benefit to the whole estate

The frameworks will be available to other site licence companies in the NDA’s estate, including those that operate the Sellafield, Dounreay and RSRL sites at Harwell and Winfrith.

"Having the framework available for these ILW containers is a major step forward for Magnox and the whole of the UK’s nuclear decommissioning industry," said Magnox Commercial Director, Dr Peter Walkden.

"Diversification of supply for this contract will support development of the decommissioning market," said Peter Welch, Lead Contract Manager for the NDA. It will also provide a ‘strong platform’ for small medium enterprises (SMEs) to enter into the market, a statement said.

Photo: Magnox Berkeley Site’s Interim Storage Facility, which will hold up to 1004 ILW containers (Source: Magnox Ltd)