The world's largest open air nuclear storage pond will be decommissioned, in an effort to make the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, U.K. safer, the BBC reported.
Built in 1948, the Pile Fuel Storage Pond, was used to store fuel from the Windscale Pile Reactors.
The radioactive sludge will be transferred to a modern waste treatment plant, which is expected to reach operation in 2015, according to project manager, Chris Plane.
"However, before the pond water can be drained, the radioactive sludge has to be removed. This sludge is similar in consistency to tomato ketchup and lies at the bottom of the 7m-deep pond," said Dorothy Gradden, head of the Pile Fuel Storage Pond.
At a fraction of the cost, a Drum Filling Plant will accelerate sludge retrieval by more than three years.
Subscribe to Nuclear Power International magazine