Balfour Beatty awarded £34m Hunterston nuclear project

The Hunterston ILW and SILWE site
The Hunterston ILW and SILWE site

Balfour Beatty has been appointed by Magnox to deliver the £34m Solid Intermediate Level Waste Encapsulation (SILWE) contract at the Hunterston A former power station in North Ayrshire.

The project marks the final link in Magnox’s process chain of safely encapsulating and storing intermediate level waste as part of the decommissioning of the nuclear power plant.

Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the final design of the encapsulation process and construction of the SILWE plant including the complex mechanical, electrical control and instrumentation required.

The twin reactor site was Scotland’s first civil nuclear generating station and at the time of opening in 1964 was the largest in operation in the world. While the plant was active, and since it ceased operation in 1989, the solid intermediate level waste has been stored in bunkers. On completion of the SILWE facility, the Solid Active Waste Bunker Retrieval (SAWBR) facility will retrieve waste from the bunkers and place it in stainless steel boxes which will then be taken to the SILWE building for encapsulation before being transported to the Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) store for storage for potentially the next 100 years.

Doug Price, Magnox head of commercial delivery, said: “Magnox is leading the way in UK nuclear decommissioning and is responsible for safely managing 10 nuclear sites across the UK. Magnox manages sites at all phases of their lifecycles and at Hunterston A we are in the care and maintenance preparations phase which focuses on deplanting buildings and retrieving, treating and processing waste. We are pleased to be working with Balfour Beatty on the SILWE project which is a key part of our programme of work.”

Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty delivery unit managing director, said: “Balfour Beatty has a strong track record in delivering the UK’s power generation solutions and has over the years been involved in the successful completion of many projects at Hunterston A, including the ILW store. Our multidisciplinary Balfour Beatty team looks forward to continuing to work with Magnox, its key strategic contractors and our experienced supply chain partners to deliver the project which has stringent safety and sustainability requirements.”

The works will be carried out under the existing Infrastructure, Construction and Enablers (ICE) framework for the delivery of construction, infrastructure and maintenance projects across all 10 sites operated by Magnox on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Balfour Beatty was appointed to ICE in September 2012. This will be the fourth package order issued to the company under the framework.

Work is expected to start on site this month and to be completed by the first quarter of 2017.

Share icon
Share this article: