Wylfa was the last and largest of the UK’s Magnox nuclear power stations – the first type of commercial nuclear power station – and ended operations in 2015, after 44 years of safely generating low-carbon electricity.
Sellafield’s own nuclear power station and the world’s first commercial plant, Calder Hall, also completed its defueling programme earlier this month.
Removal of all the nuclear fuel from a site is one of the main pieces of hazard reduction work and accounts for over 99% of the radioactivity. The completion of defueling is a huge stride towards the end of all nuclear fuel reprocessing at Sellafield – scheduled for 2020.
87,890 nuclear fuel elements have been removed from Wylfa’s twin reactors since it ended generation.
NDA Chief Executive, David Peattie, said:
This is a major decommissioning milestone and a clear demonstration that we are making progress in dealing with the UK’s civil nuclear legacy.
The successful completion of the Magnox defueling programme is testament to the hard work and commitment of the highly skilled workforce across the whole of the NDA group. I’d like to thank everyone for their unwavering focus on completing the work on time, and with the highest regard for safety.
Wylfa will now join the rest of the Magnox sites in becoming wholly focused on decommissioning and clean-up.
Gwen Parry-Jones OBE, Magnox Ltd CEO, added:
I have been extremely impressed by the innovation, hard work and commitment of the team to safely reach such an important milestone in the life cycle of the plant.
As the final Magnox site to defuel, this marks a significant landmark for Magnox Limited as a whole in carrying out our mission to safely decommission our fleet and marks a new focus on the next phase for the whole company.