This final phase of works follows the £5.5m preliminary design phase and the £12.5m second phase of detailed design and enabling works.
Balfour Beatty and Cavendish Nuclear – a subsidiary of Babcock International and the UK’s largest supplier of specialist services to the nuclear industry – are working in a 45:55 joint venture.
The new facility will be an integral part of Sellafield’s long-term waste retrieval hazard reduction programme. The new mechanical handling plant will support two existing waste silos with retrieving historic waste and reducing hazard. At the heart of the heavily reinforced concrete structure, which has a footprint half a hectares and stands 25 metres high, robotic installations will enable the Sellafield team to operate in a safe and controlled environment.
A team of more than 100 engineers including nuclear specialists, civil and structural engineers and architectural technicians is using building information modelling to create a full 4D design specification that dramatically reduces the construction programme.
Work is scheduled to complete in autumn 2017, and the project will employ more than 300 people at peak of construction.
Balfour Beatty executive chairman Steve Marshall said: “The UK infrastructure market includes significant opportunities for nuclear decommissioning and clean-up activities. Similarly, new nuclear build and the construction of new power generation projects will bring us an opportunity to deploy our extensive experience.
“Balfour Beatty has a strong heritage in the nuclear sector including our work across the existing fleet of UK nuclear power stations and our 35 year presence at Sellafield. We look forward to working with Cavendish Nuclear to deliver a facility that will support Sellafield Ltd’s overall waste retrieval and hazard reduction programme.”