The 152m crane is the tallest structure ever built at Sellafield
The 110 metres structure – the scene of Britain’s worst nuclear accident – will begin to disappear later this year. A giant crane has been erected to help demolish Windscale pile chimney.
The 152 metres is the tallest structure ever built at Sellafield. The crane will begin work this autumn, removing and lowering chunks of the chimney cut out using diamond wire saws.
Duncan Thompson, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: “The complex task of decommissioning and demolishing the Windscale Pile One stack has reached an important stage. It is another example of the ingenuity that goes into solving the UK’s decommissioning problems. Once demolition begins it will be a very visible demonstration of work being done to make Sellafield a safer place”.
Teams from Sellafield Ltd and its supply chain are working together to safely pull it down. The first piece to go will be the square-shaped ‘diffuser’ at the top. Because buildings containing nuclear material surround the stack, traditional demolition techniques like explosives cannot be used.
“We’re making visible progress on this demolition, and it won’t be long now until we start to see the diffuser removed,” said George Frost from Sellafield Ltd. “The chimney is one of the iconic legacies of Sellafield’s past, so the skyline change as the chimney is removed will be significant.”
The Windscale Pile One chimney has dominated the Sellafield skyline for nearly 70 years.