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Sellafield has been nearly 80 years in the making. A pioneer for the UK’s nuclear industry, it supported national defence, generated electricity for nearly half a century, and developed the ability to safely manage nuclear waste. Each chapter of Sellafield’s history delivered great benefit for the country while creating a complex nuclear clean-up challenge for which there are no blueprints. Today, Sellafield covers 6 square kilometres and is home to more than 200 nuclear facilities and the largest inventory of untreated nuclear waste in the world.
Sellafield is transforming. We are preparing for the mission change and have defined the organisation we want to be in ten years’ time – how we operate internally, our size and shape, the way we work with the supply chain, and our ability to maximise wider opportunities in the future.
We are developing a high-performance, value-led organisation that reduces high hazard faster, costs the taxpayer less, and responds more quickly to potential funding changes. At the same time, we are looking for ways to maximise the socio-economic benefit from our funding and supply chain spend.
What we do
From cleaning-up the country’s highest nuclear risks and hazards to safeguarding nuclear fuel, materials and waste, our mission is nationally important. Our purpose is to keep Sellafield safe and secure, cleaning-up the site to a defined end state.
We work in value streams, focusing on what we are really here to do, and prioritising what we do and how we do it to maximise value. We currently have four value streams:
- Retrievals: we are retrieving nuclear waste, fuel and sludge that are stored inside our legacy ponds and silos, the highest risks and hazards at Sellafield
- Remediation: beyond the legacy ponds and silos, we have hundreds of nuclear and non-nuclear facilities at Sellafield that need to be cleaned-up
- Spent nuclear fuel management: we currently reprocess spent nuclear fuel. That means taking the fuel that has been used inside a nuclear power station and extracting the individual component parts of plutonium, uranium and waste. In future we will store fuel instead of reprocessing it
- Special nuclear materials: we have the facilities and expertise to provide safe, secure and appropriate storage for special nuclear materials
Operating the Sellafield site also includes:
- Nuclear waste management: we are the only organisation who can safely manage all three forms of nuclear waste: high, intermediate and low
- Infrastructure: our day-to-day operations at Sellafield rely on the availability of a range of services, from an on-site laundry to a comprehensive rail network