The Ponds Programme is responsible for the decommissioning of the redundant fuel storage ponds at sites, and the commissioning and decommissioning of associated treatment plants.
The ponds stored used fuel elements after they were removed from reactors, before being sent for reprocessing at Sellafield. Ponds can be decommissioned when all the used fuel has been removed from a site.
The aim is to drain and decontaminate ponds in preparation for care and maintenance, with the programme of work estimated to cost £350 million. The programme team is focused on a common approach for all the ponds, with a toolkit of processes and equipment able to be deployed from one site to another, while at the same time seeking innovation and sharing learning.
Each pond facility is different and has its own challenges, but adopting a simple six stage process ensures a consistent approach.