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  1. ITV Report

Sellafield milestone 'like scoring FA cup final goal'

Magnox Swarf Storage Silo Facility Credit: Sellafield Ltd

A 50-tonne piece of equipment, which will be used to clean up the single most hazardous building on Sellafield, has arrived on site.

The 'Transfer Tunnel' is part of a larger machine, which will retrieve highly radioactive waste from the ageing Magnox Swarf Storage Silo Facility.

Sellafield provided this video showing what the machine will look like in action. The yellow containers represent the individual silos which contain highly radioactive waste:

It has taken more than a decade to design and build the equipment:

We've all been working hard and closely for a number of years now and it's like scoring the goal in the FA cup final. It's a pretty significant event."

– George Andrews, Chief Operating Officer, Ansaldo NES
The component being transported. Credit: ITV Border

The Transfer Tunnel was transported from Beckermet to Sellafield on Thursday afternoon.

The machine travelled at about 3mph and was operated by a driver walking behind.

Staff at Sellafield say getting the equipment on site is a major milestone. It is due to start retrieving waste towards the end of 2017:

We've got many tonnes of heavily radioactive waste to recover that's been generated over the last 50 years or so.

It's going to take about 30 years of retrievals to recover the waste and put it into a safe and passive form. That gives you some indication of the magnitude of the task in front of us".

– Chris Halliwell, Magnox Swarf Storage Silo Facility, Sellafield

Watch Katie Hunter's full report: