After 16 years of decommissioning work, Bradwell has become the first of the Magnox nuclear power stations to receive ONR’s permission to enter into a period of “care and maintenance”.
This means that following the end of generation, completion of defuelling and substantial decommissioning work, it is placed in a safe and secure state for several decades in order to allow radiation levels to naturally decay over time. The remaining buildings at Bradwell are covered in weatherproof cladding and the site will be regularly monitored and inspected until final clearance, scheduled for 2083.
During this period, Bradwell will be managed remotely from the Sizewell A site; another nuclear power station that is being decommissioned but is not as progressed as Bradwell.
Given this, although Bradwell will maintain its nuclear licence, the level of hazard and risk is so reduced that frequent ONR presence is not warranted.
To ensure that the plant condition remains as expected during the care and maintenance period, Magnox Ltd, will open the site for inspection or maintenance activities and ONR may choose to physically inspect this work to ensure it is being implemented safely.