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Business

Firm’s investment will sustain jobs and make Sellafield safer, sooner

A Cumbrian business has unveiled a £500,000 investment which will help clean-up Sellafield while sustaining jobs and saving money for the taxpayer.

Cyclife UK has created a specialist remote cutting facility (RCF) which will process contaminated skips from Sellafield’s fuel storage ponds at its metal recycling site in Workington, West Cumbria.

The process involves spraying the containers with fixative to adhere contamination to the surface before carefully size reducing the items remotely and then preparing them for optimised disposal.

The skips are from Sellafield’s Pile Fuel Storage Pond.

They are lower activity items which have been deemed suitable for this waste route. Skips containing higher levels of activity are sent to a specialist facility on the Sellafield site for processing.

Removing skips from Sellafield’s ponds clears space for decommissioning activities and helps to make the site safer, sooner.

The Cyclife process reduces the volume of material needing disposal, lightening the burden on the UK’s Low Level Waste Repository.

Joe Robinson, Cyclife 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, said: “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.

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