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Title: The Windscale Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (WAGR) Decommissioning Project A Close Out Report for WAGR Decommissioning Campaigns 1 to 10 - 12474

The reactor core of the Windscale Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (WAGR) has been dismantled as part of an ongoing decommissioning project. The WAGR operated until 1981 as a development reactor for the British Commercial Advanced Gas cooled Reactor (CAGR) power programme. Decommissioning began in 1982 with the removal of fuel from the reactor core which was completed in 1983. Subsequently, a significant amount of engineering work was carried out, including removal of equipment external to the reactor and initial manual dismantling operations at the top of the reactor, in preparation for the removal of the reactor core itself. Modification of the facility structure and construction of the waste packaging plant served to provide a waste route for the reactor components. The reactor core was dismantled on a 'top-down' basis in a series of 'campaigns' related to discrete reactor components. This report describes the facility, the modifications undertaken to facilitate its decommissioning and the strategies employed to recognise the successful decommissioning of the reactor. Early decommissioning tasks at the top of the reactor were undertaken manually but the main of the decommissioning tasks were carried remotely, with deployment systems comprising of little more than crane like devices, intelligently interfaced into the existingmore » structure. The tooling deployed from the 3 tonne capacity (3te) hoist consisted either purely mechanical devices or those being electrically controlled from a 'push-button' panel positioned at the operator control stations, there was no degree of autonomy in the 3te hoist or any of the tools deployed from it. Whilst the ATC was able to provide some tele-robotic capabilities these were very limited and required a good degree of driver input which due to the operating philosophy at WAGR was not utilised. The WAGR box proved a successful waste package, adaptable through the use of waste box furniture specific to the waste-forms generated throughout the various decommissioning campaigns. The use of low force compaction for insulation and soft wastes provided a simple, robust and cost effective solution as did the direct encapsulation of LLW steel components in the later stages of reactor decommissioning. Progress through early campaigns was good, often bettering the baseline schedule, especially when undertaking the repetitive tasks seen during Neutron Shield and Graphite Core decommissioning, once the operators had become experienced with the equipment, though delays became more pronounced, mainly as a result of increased failures due to the age and maintainability of the RDM and associated equipment. Extensive delays came about as a result of the unsupported insulation falling away from the pressure vessel during removal and the inability of the ventilation system to manage the sub micron particulate generated during IPOPI cutting operations, though the in house development of revised and new methodologies ultimately led to the successful completion of PV and I removal. In a programme spanning over 12 years, the decommissioning of the reactor pressure vessel and core led to the production 110 ILW and 75 LLW WAGR boxes, with 20 LLW ISO freight containers of primary reactor wastes, resulting in an overall packaged volume of approximately 2500 cubic metres containing the estimated 460 cubic metres of the reactor structure. (authors)« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Sellafield Ltd, Sellafield (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22293700
Report Number(s):
INIS-US--14-WM-12474
TRN: US14V1356115224
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2012: Waste Management 2012 conference on improving the future in waste management, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 26 Feb - 1 Mar 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 1 refs.
Research Org:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 42 ENGINEERING; CONTROL; GRAPHITE; REACTOR CORES; REACTOR DECOMMISSIONING; REMOVAL; WAGR REACTOR; WASTE FORMS