The impact of decommissioning

There a number of decommissioning projects being undertaken at Sellafield and each of these offers a wide range of unique career opportunities including accountancy vacancies at Sellafield and accountancy jobs at Sellafield.


The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is responsible for cleaning up Britain’s civil nuclear sites including Sellafield.
This work includes projects at Calder Hall, Windscale, the Waste Repository at Drigg in addition to various projects on the main Sellafield Site in Cumbria. This decommissioning work may take more than fifty years to complete and during this time will create ongoing Accountancy and Finance jobs Sellafield to fill.

Decommissioning is basically the complete dismantling of former nuclear facilities.

Some of the projects currently being undertaken in West Cumbria are listed below:

The Windscale Pile Chimneys

One of the most visual examples of Decommissioning is the demolition of the Windscale Pile Chimneys.
These were constructed in the late 1940s to a height of 125 metres (400ft) and formed part of the Windscale Pile 1 and 2 Reactors. The Reactors were shut down in 1957 following a fire in Pile 1. In the mid 1980s a decision was made to remove the upper 30 metre section of each chimney and then subsequently to further decommission the chimneys to below the height of the reactor building, this naturally resulted in a number of engineering and other vacancies at sellafield being created.

The Windscale Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (WAGR)

The WAGR was operational for about 17 years before being shutdown in 1981. The Windscale Advanced Gas-Cooled reactor is one of the first full-scale reactors in the world to be decommissioned and secured many nuclear jobs in Cumbria. As these early reactors were not designed with decommissioning in mind special equipment and techniques have been developed at each stage of the process. This has created great challenges for management and engineering teams working on the project and they have sometimes called for temporary jobs at Sellafield to be created to plug any gaps.

The Calder Hall Power Station

Calder Hall was the world’s first industrial scale nuclear power station and was opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 17th October 1956 creating the first nuclear sector jobs and placing sellafield and engineering jobs in cumbria firmly on the map.
The Calder Hall Reactor was a prototype of the Magnox gas cooled reactors and over time three more reactors were constructed and operated successfully for 47 years. On 31st March 2003, the plant ceased its job of generating electricity and was closed down after almost 50 years service being the world’s oldest nuclear reactor. Calder Hall is now in the first stages of decommissioning and will provide ongoing challenges for the Sellafield project and management teams.

Other Projects

Other decommissioning projects, that could lead to further nuclear vacancies in Cumbria, include:

  • The Removal of redundant pipelines running from the Sellafield site out into the Irish Sea.
  • The safe removal of gloveboxes from the redundant PFR plant.
  • Ongoing decommissioning work on Fuel storage ponds.

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