A WORKINGTON business has unveiled a major new investment that will help process contaminated skips from Sellafield.

Cyclife UK has unveiled a £500,000 investment in its new specialist remote cutting facility, which will process skips from Sellafield's fuel storage ponds.

The process used by the technology will involve spraying the skips with a "fixative" substance, which will allow the safe collection and removal of any contamination.

Any skips containing higher levels of contamination are processed at a specialist facility at Sellafield.

It will also help to reduce the burden on the Low Level Waste Repository, and free up space at Sellafield.

Joe Robinson, Cyclife's managing director, said: "We are delighted to start operations at the RCF.

"This substantial investment will add to our capability and support our customers with an innovative approach.

"The RCF will help secure local jobs and demonstrate that our business is positively moving forward with a steady growth.

"We have already received great feedback. I’m proud we’ve been able to step up to a significant challenge and deliver results.

"It also illustrates strong support from our parent company EDF in developing innovative techniques for the waste management challenges of the nuclear industry in the UK."

Glenn McCracken, head of site remediation for Sellafield Ltd, added: "I’m delighted to see Cyclife investing in its west Cumbrian workforce to create this vital export route for pond skips.

"This work will create and sustain jobs for the community and help us progress our internationally-important mission to make Sellafield safer, sooner."

Paul Pointon, chief executive officer of LLW Repository Ltd, said: "Developing new waste export routes is central to our mission, so Cyclife’s initiative, which will help preserve capacity in the repository, saving money for the UK taxpayer, is most welcome.

"It’s great news on several fronts and highlights Cyclife’s commitment to invest and innovate."

Cyclife’s Workington facility, at Lillyhall, has the capability of treating up 2,500 tons of solid low level radioactive waste a year.

The facility provides waste treatment services including segregation, sorting/size reduction and metal recycling.