Calder Hall reaches major safety landmark

By Lindsay Gale16 September 2014

The team carrying out the decommissioning of the world’s first nuclear power station at Calder Hall in Cumbria, UK, has reached a major safety landmark, with 10 years of work having been carried out without a lost time incident. One of the most complex decommissioning challenges in the world, more than four million man hours have been worked at the aging facility in a unique and challenging nuclear environment.

Opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1956, the plant ceased generating electricity production in 2003 after 46 years operation. There is a huge amount still to be done to get it ready for the decommissioning phase and the progress being made with this work has been recognised.

George Mossop, Head of Calder Hall at Sellafield Ltd said: “We carry out a lot of heavy industrial work in order to reduce hazard and risk on the site, but throughout all the work our first priority is always to do this safely. In 2010 it was home to the biggest asbestos removal project in Europe, with 2,600 tonnes being removed safely, not to mention the explosive demolition of the cooling towers in 2007, all without a lost time accident.”

He went on: “We are now removing Magnox fuel from the four reactors, which is a huge piece of work, steel stripping from the exterior of the building and removing the 46 tonne top ducts from the heat exchangers using one of the biggest cranes in Europe. The team really does have a lot to be proud of, staying safe while hitting the important targets in our programme. We are a very close team and look out for each other so there is very much a family feel here. To mark this achievement we are making a donation of £2,000 (US$3,250) to local charities, and I have asked the team to nominate some worthy causes so we can present them with the money.”

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