The Bradwell Reactor Site is a post-operational nuclear power station in Essex which is being decommissioned to be put into longterm care and maintenance. As part of the decommissioning activities, Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) and Fuel Element Debris (FED) generated during the plant’s operational life require processing into a safe state.

 The Sorting and Dissolution facility allows the radiation monitoring, sorting and segregation of FED waste. Through this process the bulk of the waste is rendered safe for discharge to the environment, and any remaining insoluble and/or highly radioactive waste can then be packaged for removal from site for long-term storage. The facility will reduce FED volume by a factor of more than 20.

 The FED to be processed comprises mainly of Magnox fuel-rod cladding, a magnesiumbased material, as well as Nimonic springs, fuel fragments, gravel and sludge collected during the defueling process and subsequent storage. The project value was over £1.5m with Servelec Controls scope including the highly successful design, testing and commissioning of both the Safety Instrumented System (SIS) and Basic Process Control System (BPCS).

 Servelec Controls is also providing an on-going support and maintenance contract.

Basic Process Control System

 The Basic Process Control System (BPCS) consists of two Allen Bradley ControlLogix Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) interfacing to a Servelecsupplied SCADA system, Safety Instrumented System (SIS) and various packages supplied by other vendors. The SCADA comprises of Wonderware InTouch software with a Wonderware Historian package allowing for data logging.

 The BPCS communicates over an Ethernet Network to the SCADA system.

 Safety Instrumented System

 The SIS was developed by Servelec Controls and provides for all onventional Safety Instrumented Functions (SIFs) in the facility.

 The SIS is fully independent of the BPCS. It has carefully modularised software for clear visibility of software function. It is capable of autonomous operation to provide and additional layer of protection for plant and personnel during periods when the BPCS may be in a degraded or failed condition.

 The SIS consists of a single node of a SIL-3 capable ABB System 800xA High Integrity (PLC), connected to the BPCS PLC via Modbus-TCP (an industrial communications protocol) over Ethernet. This arrangement guarantees non-interference of the BPCS with safety functions whilst still allowing full visibility of SIS status.

Bradwell Fuel Element Debris Dissolution: Costain/Magnox Case Study

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