Client
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)
Location
United Kingdom

Magnox Decommissioning

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) selected the Cavendish Fluor Partnership (CFP) to decommission 12 nuclear sites located throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Those 12 sites comprised 10 Magnox and two Research Sites Restoration Limited (RSRL) sites, which together provided nuclear power to the United Kingdom for more than four decades. All of those sites were in various stages of shutdown when the NDA awarded the contract to CFP, except for Wylfa nuclear station and the Maentwrog hydroelectric station, which were still generating power.

Successful execution involved assuming responsibility for two site license companies, Magnox and RSRL, and the 12 nuclear licensed sites. There were more than 4,300 employees at those sites, along with 27 nuclear reactors and one hydroelectric generating station. In 2015, CFP successfully combined the two site license companies into a single entity known as Magnox Ltd.

After 44 years of operation, the Wylfa Nuclear Power Generating Station ceased operations on December 30, 2015. Fluor played a key role in helping the NDA reach this milestone. Wylfa was the last working Magnox-fueled reactor in the world. In operation since 1971, the plant provided enough electricity to power every single home in Wales throughout its lifespan.

In October 2016, Magnox Ltd. reached a milestone at the Bradwell Power Station, announcing that cleanup crews had decontaminated approximately 33,000 square feet of surface area to date. Bradwell, located about two hours northeast of London, was one of the 12 nuclear sites Magnox Ltd. decommissioned for the NDA.

In September 2019, Bradwell became the first in the country to achieve Interim Status. This major milestone in the decommissioning of the 60-year-old site occurred at the end of CFP’s five-year contract with the NDA.


Client's Challenge

The NDA is the government agency responsible for managing the effective and efficient clean-up of the UK's nuclear legacy. This includes the first generation of Magnox power stations, as well as various nuclear research and fuel facilities.

The client's overarching goal for the contract was to achieve a care and maintenance (C&M) status for each of the sites by 2028. To achieve C&M, CFP planned to place the reactors in a “safestore” state, build an interim storage facility for Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) at most sites and demolish all other structures to below ground level.


Fluor's Solution

CFP brought international decommissioning, operational and site expertise to the project, with the objective of delivering the program safely and cost effectively.

The contract scope included:

  • Reactor operation and maintenance
  • Nuclear site infrastructure and asset management
  • Spent nuclear fuel (SNF) handling, packaging and transportation
  • SNF disposition management and integration for the entire NDA estate
  • Site security

  • Fuel storage pond cleanout, decontamination, draining and decommissioning
  • Waste operations and legacy waste treatment, packaging, storage, transportation and disposal
  • Decontamination and decommissioning of plants and structures
  • Contaminated land remediation
  • Preparing reactors for “safestore”
  • Regulator, stakeholder and community engagement
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Conclusion

The five-year Cavendish Fluor Partnership decommissioning contract with the NDA ended in September 2019.

The contract was a “One Fluor” project, joining the nuclear decommissioning talent of the Fluor Government Group with the strong UK engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance capability of Fluor's Farnborough Office.

​Images courtesy of Magnox.