A chain of companies from West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria have joined forces to build special containers for radioactive waste from the Sellafield nuclear decommissioning project.
The businesses form a chain that is producing self-shielded boxes which will store legacy waste from Sellafield’s 66-year old First Generation Magnox Storage Pond, which holds over a thousand cubic metres of radioactive sludge.
The clean-up work requires the manufacture of hundreds of 33-tonne metal boxes to store material taken out of the pond.
The boxes begin life at Huddersfield-based Arthur Jackson & Co, who manufacture intricate wooden patterns to create moulds into which molten iron can be poured.
The Shakespeare Foundry in Preston then makes the mould and pours the iron, which takes a month to cool.
The next destination is Eaves, a Blackburn-based company which carries out precision machining to make holes for process ports, filters and bolts.
The final step of the manufacturing journey is at Workington-based TIS, which assembles seals, filters, processes ports and bolts before the boxes are transported to Sellafield.
The work is managed by primary contractor, Westinghouse, which heads up a multi-million pound contract to manufacture up to 750 of the boxes.
Dorothy Gradden, Head of Legacy Ponds at Sellafield, said:
“The arrival of the waste boxes on site will be another landmark in cleaning up the most hazardous facilities on the Sellafield site."
“This is the Northern Powerhouse in action - a chain of manufacturing specialists, some of whom are delivering products for the nuclear industry for the first time, are stepping up and helping us achieve one of the most important projects in decommissioning the UK’s civil nuclear legacy.”