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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Chapelcross reactor successfully de-fuelled

The decommissioning of Magnox Limited Chapelcross nuclear power station has taken a significant leap forward as its first reactor was fully and safely de-fuelled.

The station, four miles from the Solway estuary, has four reactors with eight 30 MW turbines. Reactor 3, the first of the four reactors, has now had all 9,245 fuel elements removed.

Half of the fuel at Chapelcross has now been de-fuelled.

Some 38,075 fuel elements will be removed from all four reactors and will be safely dispatched for reprocessing at Sellafield. 23,203 fuel elements have currently been removed in 158 flasks.

Tim Dunham, plant manager at Chapelcross, who is in charge of the de-fuelling project, said: “A major milestone has been achieved with the first reactor completely de-fuelled and we continue to make significant progress on the major task of de-fuelling the Chapelcross site and is a testament to the skilled and dedicated workforce currently focused on the defuelling project.”

At full power when operational, the station produced enough electricity to supply every home in South West Scotland, the Borders and Cumbria.

The de-fuelling programme began after formal permission was sought and consented by the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) in July 2008.

The first flask was sent to Sellafield for reprocessing in April 2009.

Since then, there has been a safe and constant progression in de-fuelling the site. Reactor 4 is due to be fully defuelled by the beginning of May and the programme is due to be completed in June 2013.Completion will result in 99 per cent of the higher activity inventory being removed from the site.

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