The End of an Era at LLWR

A major milestone has been achieved at the Low Level Waste Repository in West Cumbria with the completion of demolition activities on some of the site’s oldest facilities.

Starting in 2013, an integrated team from NSG Environmental Ltd, LLW Repository Ltd (LLWR) and key supply chain partners decommissioned and demolished the remaining legacy plutonium contaminated facilities on the site. The facilities, which originally comprised ten magazines and supporting infrastructure, were essentially concrete bunkers initially used to store ordnance during the Second World War. Following this, the facilities were used to store radioactive waste from nuclear sites across the UK.

The facilities prior to decommissioning and demolition

Concluding in August 2019, the decommissioning phase was completed in just over six years with a cost saving of approximately £20 million to the UK taxpayer. The project was also considered one of the NDA’s top performing projects for a number of years. As well as time and cost savings, the project also delivered an impressive safety record with over 400,000 person-hours of physical decommissioning work without a single lost time accident.

The demolition phase of the project, which was also managed by NSG with support from demolition partner Squibb Group, was originally scheduled to conclude in late 2020. However, with the health and safety of everyone at the site being paramount, the project was temporarily paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. With extra safety measures in place, the team remobilised a few months later and continued to make progress in line with the revised programme. With all remaining tasks completed, the project team demobilised on the 25th of March and left the site with fond memories of a highly successful project, closing out an important chapter in the site’s history.

An aerial view of the demolished facilities, March 2021

Andy Deall, Projects North Director at NSG, commented:

This project has been an important part of the NSG journey — particularly in terms of the continued growth of the business, developing and maintaining our strong relationship with LLWR, and supporting the local area through employment opportunities and community engagement. I would like to thank everyone involved in the project for making it such a success and look forward to working with LLWR again on other projects.

Image credits: LLW Repository Ltd