The following information has been extracted from a press release by EDF, on March 31, 2016:
EDF Energy is inaugurating the United Kingdom’s first dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, allowing the continued safe operation of Sizewell B to at least 2035 and with the possibility of a further 20 year life extension.
A dry fuel storage facility is a method of storing spent nuclear fuel that has already been cooled in the spent fuel pond (pool). The fuel is loaded into a metal canister which is then welded shut, and then placed within a large, leak-tight steel and concrete cask. Dry Fuel Storage Facilities (or Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations (ISFSI)) are used widely across the USA and Europe but this facility is the first in the UK. Holtec International, a world leader in dry fuel store technology is EDF Energy’s lead supplier for the project.
With testing now complete, the dry fuel storage facility is being prepared to take its first delivery of spent fuel. The £200million project has been paid for by the independent Nuclear Liabilities Fund, which was established to cover the costs of decommissioning. The dry fuel store will safely house spent fuel from Sizewell B from autumn 2016 onwards until a Geological Disposal Facility is available for the longer term storage of spent fuel.
Successful completion of the new dry fuel store means Sizewell B can continue producing reliable low carbon power to supply 2.6 million British homes until at least 2035 and potentially for a further 20 years subject to life extension.
On March 31, 2016, EDF Energy CEO, Vincent de Rivaz, inaugurated the dry fuel storage facility with Holtec’s President & Chief Executive Officer, Dr, Kris Singh, and Suffolk Coastal Member of Parliament, Therese Coffey.
Vincent de Rivaz said: “The new dry fuel store is the first in the UK and sets a new global standard for the safe storage of spent fuel. Here at Sizewell B this investment will mean the station can operate until at least 2035 and potentially for 20 years beyond that to 2055. EDF Energy’s investment in its existing nuclear power stations has also helped them deliver a remarkable performance. As well as investing in our existing stations we are also advancing our plans for the next generation of nuclear power stations in Britain, including here at Sizewell. I am confident that the Hinkley Point C project will go ahead very soon and this will pave the way for the next stage of consultation for Sizewell C.”
Dr. Kris Singh said: “We have built on-site dry storage facilities at scores of nuclear plants around the world. Sizewell B is the first in the UK and is designed to the highest standards and extreme structural strength demanded by EDF Energy and the UK regulatory requirements.”