Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Urenco UK Ltd

Summary

  • Operator/Licensee: Urenco UK Ltd
  • Type of site: Operational, chemical plant and other facilities
  • Location: Capenhurst, Cheshire

Urenco website

Capenhurst - Copyright Urenco UK Ltd

Background

The Urenco UK Ltd Capenhurst site is located approximately 10km to the north of Chester. The licence holder is Urenco UK Ltd. Following completion of the site integration project and the issue of a new site licence in November 2012, the former Sellafield limited Capenhurst site was integrated into the enlarged Urenco UK Ltd site. The site contains a number of facilities which comprise:

  • Uranium hexafluoride is a low level radioactive gas (alpha radiation from the uranium component) with a high chemo toxic hazard. On exposure to air, hex reacts with the moisture in air to form a visible white cloud of hydrogen fluoride, a strong acidic gas centrifuge enrichment plants.
  • Cylinder storage rafts and Container Receipt and Dispatch (CRD) building.
  • Other support facilities such as workshops, uranium residues store, chemical laboratories, fire station and the site emergency control centre.
  • A tenant organisation, Urenco ChemPlants Limited, is currently constructing a Tails Management Facility, (TMF) due to be commissioned in 2015. The process plants within the Tails Management Facility will convert depleted uranium hexafluoride, UF6, "Hex Tails" to the lower hazard U3O8material, for long term storage. "Hex Tails" arising from Capenhurst and Urenco facilities in Holland and Germany will be processed at Capenhurst in the TMF, with U3O8 being returned to Holland and Germany.
  • A tenant organisation, Capenhurst Nuclear Services Limited, will continue the mission of the former Sellafield Limited Capenhurst licensed site, receiving and storing uranium oxide, as well as storing UF6 "Hex Tails", pending treatment in the TMF facility starting by 2020. Decommissioning and solid waste disposals will continue on this part of the site.