- A59 has been successfully decommissioned within sanctioned programme and cost. A59 was a significant category 1 nuclear facility and is one of the first of its type to be decommissioned. Since the early 1960’s the A59 building operated as a Post Irradiation Examination facility and included high activity cave lines, pressurised suit operations area, as well as general workshops and operations areas.
Decommissioning commenced in early 2001, and was tackled in three stages: initial clearout; decontamination; and demolition. The safety management was good and an excellent safety record was maintained throughout A59 decommissioning. The good safety performance was due to having the right UKAEA safety management team with good safety management approaches.
- Substantial decommissioning of the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR). SGHWR has successfully completed the scheme design for phase 2 decommissioning of the reactor. Following funding restrictions SGHWR is currently in safe care and maintenance.
- The DRAGON reactor built during the 1960s and operational until 1975 has had all redundant equipment in the inner and outer containment removed. Work was scheduled to be completed in 2008, prior to the major task of decommissioning the reactor main pressure vessel. Following funding restrictions DRAGON is currently in safe care and maintenance.
- The Alpha Materials Laboratory (AML) was used for the manufacture of mixed oxide fuel for use in reactor physics experiments. In this role the building handled kilogram quantities of plutonium. The AML ceased operations in the early 1990s. This plant was successfully decommissioned and returned to green field status in the late 1990’s, this was the first time a major plutonium facility had been decommissioned and represented a significant technical challenge.
- The B2 buildings (fissile materials store, office block and reactor hall) were fully decommissioned and demolished during 2006/2007. The site is now a grassed area and delicensing is under way.
- The ZEBRA reactor (Zero Energy Breeder Reactor Assembly) went operational in 1962. It was a reactor used purely for research and produced no energy. The reactor operated safely until 1982 when it was shut down and placed in care and maintenance. In 2001 preparations for decommissioning began and final demolition was completed in 2006, the site has now been grassed.
Please also refer to the Harwell Key Achievements Brochure 2008-09 found on our publications page