Giant steel boilers at an ex-Gloucestershire nuclear power station will be shipped to Sweden so that they can be recycled.
Five 22m long boilers, which each weigh over 300 tonnes, will be taken from Magnox Berkeley power station in March. Swedish-based outfit Studsvik was awarded a lucrative £8m contract to make sure that the boilers are recycled.
A spokesman from Magnox said that the developments mark a major milestone in Berkeley’s decommissioning, with the power station having ceased all electricity production nearly 23 years ago. Constructed at the back end of the 1950s, Magnox Berkeley is the first UK nuclear power station to be decommissioned.
Fifteen boilers, which are also referred to as heat exchangers, are still on site though removals of five of them have resulted in final site clearances finishing early than scheduled, as confirmed by a Magnox spokesman. Mr Simon Bedford, said that the project has been described by some as being the ultimate recycling project and added that although there were 16 boilers in the 90s, size reduction on site was weighed up and deemed to be too expensive.
According to Magnox at least 95 per cent of each boiler is to be recycled. A specialist transporting company, ALE, has been awarded the contract to safely transport the boilers by both road and sea before they arrive at Studsvik’s processing facility close to Nyköping in Sweden. ALE insists that each giant boiler is to be put on platform trailers then escorted through Berkeley to Sharpness docks.