FED Treatment Programme
The Fuel Element Debris (FED) Treatment Programme is responsible for the retrieval and reprocessing of FED to make it ready for final disposal, significantly reducing hazard at sites.
FED mainly consists of parts of the magnesium alloy cladding that surrounds nuclear fuel, which, at some sites, was removed before the used fuel was sent for reprocessing. Some FED remains at sites and needs to be safely retrieved, treated and stored.
At Dungeness A Magnox has pioneered dissolution of FED in an acid solution to separate radioactive material from inert waste and avoid the unnecessary permanent disposal of harmless waste. This has reduced the volume by more than 90%. The remaining effluent is treated and discharged, within permitted levels, and the items of higher activity are packaged and stored appropriately.
Dissolution is also being implemented at Bradwell, and planned for Hinkley Point A, Oldbury,
and Sizewell A.