DECOMMISSIONING of Oldbury Power Station has ‘skipped ahead’ with the first items being removed from the site’s cooling pond.

The fuel skip, which is one of many used for storing fuel rods after they had been inside the reactor, has been redundant since the decommissioning work began earlier this year, and its successful removal signals the start of the campaign to clear the pond before it is drained and decontaminated.

Mike Heaton, closure director for the Oldbury site, said: “We have been decommissioning the Oldbury site pond complex for a relatively short period of time, so to be removing skips already is quite an achievement.

“In the coming months we hope to remove around 60 tonnes of waste from the pond. By taking away some of these bulkier items first we will be able to continue with more decontamination work.”

Following removal from the pond, the skips will be assessed for their radioactivity prior to final disposal.