The UK’s British Nuclear Group Project Services has completed the first phase of work to build a local sludge treatment plant (LSTP) that will condition and store intermediate-level waste (ILW) sludges from the Pile Fuel Storage Pond at Sellafield in Cumbria.

The first phase of work included a site investigation to understand the geotechnical properties of the site and characterise the spoil that will be removed and disposed of during construction. The project forms a key part of the Sellafield clean-up strategy that requires sludge retrieval be completed by 1 August 2009.

Bruce Cletheroe, project manager, said: “The LSTP will contain a thickening unit which will receive the sludge from the pond and increase its concentration before storage in three large stainless steel bulk storage tanks.”

Project Services will start work on the construction of the LSTP later this year and it is anticipated that it will take 18 months to complete. Edmund Nuttalls Ltd has been chosen to construct the plant and is currently finalising its design.

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