The test storage box successfully being lowered into the vaultUK’s Sellafield Ltd Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store – Direct Import Facility (BEPPS-DIF), which will take on and store waste from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo, had completed its first dry run of a storage box being transferred from road, to its long term storage vault.

The Direct Import Facility part of the operation will bring the 3-metre cubed boxes full of waste safely and securely into the stores.

This high-tech facility is the vital to the waste coming out of the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo and being stored in one of four product stores. The current date for real waste to start coming through the facility is summer 2022. The facility will import the boxes of waste into two vaults designed to provide storage for a century.

There are 2 routes into the facility – one directly from the Box Encapsulation Plant and the other by road directly into the Direct Import Facility. The road link has now been successfully tested.

Head of the project, Jeff Gaines said: “The test is to prove the Direct Import Facility and vault equipment will operate as one, to provide confidence ahead of our full plant performance demonstration. This testing was a ‘dummy run’, undertaking the first full cycle of a package from the road bay to the vault.” He added: “It was a complete success with no faults or failures. In addition, the project team welcomed our operators who were able to validate their instructions whilst getting some hands-on training on the equipment ahead of handover of the Direct Import Facility area to operations in March.”

The test storage box successfully being lowered into the vault (Photo: Sellafield Ltd)