Construction is continuing at the Sellafield Product and Residue Store Retreatment Plant at the Sellafield site in the UK, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Sellafield Ltd announced on 16 July. The plant has received full business case approval from the government and the project can now accelerate, leveraging investment from Sellafield Ltd and its delivery partners and creating long-term construction and manufacturing opportunities for the local and national economies.
Once complete, the building will treat and store legacy nuclear waste. It will play a key role in delivering Sellafield’s mission to create a safe environment for future generations. Steve Harnwell, head of the project for Sellafield Ltd, said: “This is a major step forward for the project. It allows us to give certainty to our partners and be able to start making the large commitments for construction and manufacture required to progress and deliver this mission critical project within the wider UK supply chain.”
He noted that the partnering approach to project delivery has provided confidence to the government that cost and schedule predictions are realistic. “All this has helped deliver the business case early and allow this project to contribute to the first steps of improving project delivery at Sellafield.”
Construction of the plant began in earnest in February 2020 with the laying of its vast base slab via 18 separate concrete pours. But almost as soon as construction got going, COVID-19 intervened and work had to be suspended as the UK locked down. However, it quickly bounced back becoming the first Sellafield project to return to construction post-lockdown in May 2020.