A new £250 million plant is ready to help empty Sellafield’s most hazardous nuclear waste stores.

The Silos Maintenance Facility will house and maintain the machinery that will get the waste out of two of the oldest plants on the site.

It has taken nine years to build and is described as the site’s ‘Formula One pit lane’, a place where the machinery doing the most important job in UK nuclear decommissioning can be maintained in a safe, secure environment.

It is a major step towards emptying the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo and the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo, which is a top priority for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

The project is a collaboration between Sellafield Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Cavendish Nuclear, working together to deliver design, construct, install and test of the facility.

Chris Halliwell, head of the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo for Sellafield Ltd, said: “Getting this new facility ready is a huge success story for the Sellafield clean-up mission.

“It will play an important role the UK’s hazard reduction programme and is testament to the collaboration between Sellafield Ltd and our supply chain partners, Balfour Beatty and Cavendish Nuclear.

“Not only was the project delivered to time and budget but it also has an impeccable safety record, to have had five-and -a-half years without an accident on a construction site of this scale is no mean feat.”

To mark their safety record, the team has donated £8,000 to eight local charities, chosen by those who have worked on the project.