Thorp gets back on line

British Nuclear Fuels resumed limited operation of its £3bn Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp) at Sellafield on 3 May. The plant had been shut down at the end of 1998 by a potentially dangerous pipe blockage. The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has agreed to the reprocessing of 25 tonnes of fuel to test the effectiveness of […]

British Nuclear Fuels resumed limited operation of its £3bn Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp) at Sellafield on 3 May.

The plant had been shut down at the end of 1998 by a potentially dangerous pipe blockage.

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has agreed to the reprocessing of 25 tonnes of fuel to test the effectiveness of measures to prevent the blockage problem recurring.

Neil Baldwin, BNFL’s head of reprocessing operations, said Thorp’s baseload programme of reprocessing 7,000 tonnes of fuel in its first 10 years – on which the commercial viability of the plant is based – was now a `challenging’ target.