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Sellafield Ltd, Cumbria, U.K.

Supporting complex programs over the long term

Photo courtesy of Sellafield Ltd©
Photo courtesy of Sellafield Ltd©

A pioneer for the U.K.’s nuclear industry, Sellafield supported national defense, generated electricity for nearly half a century and developed the ability to safely manage nuclear waste – delivering great benefit, while also creating a complex nuclear cleanup challenge for which there aren’t any blueprints. 

We’ve worked for more than 40 years to guide Sellafield’s safe decommissioning, waste management and environmental remediation.

40+

years guiding Sellafield’s safe decommissioning, waste management and environmental remediation

200+

nuclear facilities and the largest inventory of untreated nuclear waste in the world

In Focus: Sellafield Ltd

Jacobs has worked for more than 40 years to guide Sellafield’s safe decommissioning, waste management and environmental remediation. As Program and Project Partner (PPP) responsible for design and engineering, and as a member of the AXIOM joint venture, we work in integrated teams with Sellafield Ltd and supply chain partners under the Design Services Alliance (DSA) framework. Using smarter ways of working across procurement, scoping, design, systems and use of lean techniques, the DSA has helped deliver client-approved savings of more than £140 million ($150M) since 2012.

Working alongside Sellafield Ltd and partners, under PPP, we’re providing engineering design on vital hazard reduction projects over the next 20 years. Our hazard reduction experience at Sellafield also includes waste retrievals from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo, one of the site’s legacy facilities. Here, we helped to install the first silo emptying plant (SEP) machine, a major milestone in the decommissioning process.

Now, we’ve even developed a unique capability for the retrieval of radioactive waste and sludge in extreme environments to support the site’s First-Generation Magnox Storage Pond program – one of the highest nuclear risks in Europe. We designed a bespoke package with remotely operated equipment to enable Sellafield to achieve greater control over the pond’s water level and make it easier to retrieve waste for treatment and storage. ACKtiv Nuclear, a joint venture led by Jacobs, collaborated with Sellafield Ltd and supply chain partners to achieve the first bulk sludge transfer from the FGMSP to a new containment facility. This was a hugely significant hazard reduction milestone for the U.K. nuclear industry and was the culmination of 10 years’ planning and preparation.

Since 2012, Jacobs has delivered engineering design and safety case services to Sellafield Ltd as part of the Design Services Alliance (DSA). By mid-2021, spending had reached £1 billion ($1.38bn) and the DSA partners had delivered cashable, non-cashable and future benefits totaling more than £220 million ($300m). In addition, the DSA has helped to make the site safer sooner by cutting 744 months from hazard reduction schedules. Engineering design has been transformed by challenging accepted ways of doing things, removing unnecessary scope, making procurement smarter, and reducing costs with radical new technologies and lean techniques. The DSA’s success has been rewarded with the announcement that it will continue for a third, five-year tranche until 2027.

Home to more than 200 nuclear facilities and the largest inventory of untreated nuclear waste in the world, Sellafield’s cleanup mission is internationally important and there’s still much unknown about its decommissioning. Working alongside Sellafield Ltd and partners, we’re helping build greater certainty every day and making demonstrable progress to create a legacy for all to enjoy.