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Five years after it opened, the Waste Receipt Assay Characterisation & Supercompaction Facilty (WRACS), recently processed its 30,000th drum of solid low-level radioactive waste (LLW). The facility, built to the latest industry standards, takes steel drums containing LLW arisings from site operations, x-rays them to check their contents, and assays them for levels of radioactivity. It then compacts the drum and loads it into secure bulk containers for interim storage on site. WRACS processed it 20,000th drum in August 2004, shortly after re-starting operations, following the fitting of a new compaction unit.

Dick Stewart, head of process plant decommissioning, who processed the 30,000th drum, said WRACS was a first-class facility.  “It provides very good working conditions for our excellent staff who are highly motivated, and who carry out their work in a very safe and professional manner.”  John Lehew, the recently appointed decommissioning unit manager, said that an efficient and modern facility like WRACS was vital as decommissioning gathers pace. “We need to ensure we have the staff and the facilities to deal safely with waste arisings,” he said. “This latest milestone is a clear indication that we are equipped to meet this challenge.”