Page last updated at 00:29 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Final uranium drum leaves Chapelcross nuclear plant

Uranium removal
The uranium was identified as a "major hazard" at the plant

The last of more than 10,000 drums of Magnox depleted uranium (MDU) has left a nuclear plant being decommissioned.

Some 5,000 tonnes of the material was placed in interim storage at the Chapelcross site in Dumfries and Galloway during the 1970s and 1980s.

It was identified by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) as a "major hazard" at the plant.

It has now been transferred to the Capenhurst facility in Cheshire in an operation costing £6.5m.

In the long-term it is intended that the MDU could be reused in the nuclear fuel cycle.

NDA programme director Sara Johnston said: "The transfer of MDU from Chapelcross addresses one of the major hazards that the NDA identified when it was established five years ago.

"We are delighted that the project has run smoothly and would like to pay tribute to the team's hard work and commitment to achieve this milestone ahead of schedule."

Total decommissioning costs at Chapelcross are estimated at about £800m.

It ceased energy production in 2004.



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