Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sizewell A: Transportation of spent fuel rods to Sellafield has slowed

12:00 10 December 2012

Sizewell A power station

Sizewell A power station

Archant

THE flow of highly radioactive spent fuel rods from the redundant Sizewell A nuclear power station to the Sellafield reprocessing works in Cumbria has slowed to a trickle as the Suffolk plant has slipped down the priority list.

shares

However, officials are hopeful that regular transports will resume at the end of March and that the target date for total de-fuelling – the autumn of 2014 – will still be met.

Sizewell A ceased electricity generation at the end of 2006 after a 40-year operational lifetime and is being decommissioned, a process which will continue for decades.

Thousands of fuel rods from the twin gas-cooled reactors are gradually being taken by rail to Sellafield for reprocessing via the East Suffolk line and Stratford on the outskirts of London.

Regular transports were taking place up until the start of the Olympic Games when the journeys were suspended - because of the need to reduce rail congestion in the Stratford area, not because of any terrorist threat, officials maintained.

A resumption was delayed because of problems at Sellafield, now largely resolved.

But few transports have since taken place and the Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG) was recently told that a resumption of the regular journeys is now on hold.

Clive Pullen, Sizewell A plant manager, said priority was now being given to the de-fuelling in Scotland of the Chapelcross power station, originally built to provide weapons-grade plutonium for the Ministry of Defence as well as to pump electricity into the national grid.

“De-fuelling has not been going as well as we would wish. We’ve got a small allowance at the moment but we’ve been assured that Sizewell A will be the next priority,” Mr Pullen said.

It would take another 177 rail transports to complete the de-fuelling, he added.

Marianne Fellowes, SSG chair, said the lack of transports was proving a frustration for Sizewell A staff geared up for the de-fuelling process.

The SSG – as well as the management at Sizewell A - would be pressing for an early re-start date, she said.

shares

0 comments

The BP garage on the A134 in Sudbury has been ram raided in the early hours. Reports suggest the ATM has been removed.

A cash machine has been stolen in a ram raid at a petrol station in Sudbury in the early hours of this morning.

An artist's impression of the street scene at Wolsey Grange.

A rejected bid to create almost 500 homes on land near Ipswich is to be reconsidered – following allegations a district councillor was handed a note during the original hearing.


A trolley bus at the junction of Duke Street (right) and Fore Hamlet (behind the bus) in April 1963. (Photo by Alan Valentine).

It is more than 50 years since the last trolley bus service ran on the streets of Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

The Beehive pub in Horringer.

Campaigners in west Suffolk are hoping to raise £200,000 to save their local pub.

The Cherry Tree Inn, in Blackenheath, Colchester, was given a 'one' rating on 6 November 2015

Food safety officers have urged the owners of 28 catering businesses in Colchester to improve their hygiene standards following the most recent round of inspections.

Essex MP Simon Burns with US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton

It only seems like yesterday that President Obama was seeking re-election for a second term in office and yet four years on the United States is embroiled in yet another Presidential election to find his successor in the Oval Office.

A wanted man was arrested in Stowmarket today – after being spotted in the town’s library by a PCSO.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24