SPRINGFIELDS, U.K., 23 March 2016
– On 28 March, the Westinghouse nuclear licenced site at Springfields celebrates 70 years of safely manufacturing nuclear fuel.
On that date in 1946 the Government announced that the former war-time munitions factory would be the birthplace of the UK’s civil nuclear power programme. As the first plant in the world to produce fuel for a commercial nuclear power station, the site has produced over 12 million fuel elements and supplied products and services to customers in 11 countries.
The site has come a long way since the pioneering days of the 1940’s when it was at the cutting edge of nuclear technology – as indeed it still is today. With the Oxide Fuels Complex, Springfields has the technology to manufacture fuel for all major designs of nuclear reactors worldwide. Most of the fuel requirements for the UK's nuclear power stations are met by Springfields and around 16% of all the electricity generated in the UK comes from power stations using nuclear fuel manufactured at Springfields.
“Springfields was the first commercial nuclear fuel manufacturing plant in the world and we are proud to have been the fuel supplier to customers in the UK and abroad for the past 70 years,” said Managing Director of UK Fuel Operations, Mick Gornall.
The site was originally operated by the Ministry of Supply and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) before responsibility was transferred to BNFL when the company was formed in 1971. In 2005, responsibility for the assets & liabilities of the site transferred to a new UK Government body, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
On 1 April 2010 Westinghouse entered into an agreement with the NDA for a long-term lease of Springfields, which transferred responsibility for the management and operations of the site to Westinghouse.
Today the site is the centre of Westinghouse’s operations in the UK, providing nuclear fuel, products and services across the globe.
In addition to Springfields celebrating a significant anniversary, its operators Westinghouse are also celebrating 130 years of innovation. George Westinghouse founded Westinghouse Electric Corporation in January 1886. In its 130-year history Westinghouse has been responsible for some of the world’s greatest achievements, including several in the nuclear energy industry.
To learn more about Westinghouse Electric Company and our 130-year history of innovation visit www.westinghousenuclear.com