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'Huge achievement for Chapelcross'

The four reactors on the Chapelcross site have all now been defuelled, four months ahead of the original target of June 2013.

An official verification that Chapelcross is fuel free will take place over the next few months.

On completion of the inspection, the world's second oldest commercial nuclear power station will boast 'fuel-free' status for the first time in over 50 years.

"This is a huge achievement for Chapelcross and for the decommissioning and clean-up programme in the UK.

"I have been extremely impressed by the energy and commitment with which Magnox has risen to the challenge and I pay tribute to the workforce at Chapelcross.”

– Mark Lesinski, Chief Operating Officer, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

“It gives me great pleasure to offer my congratulations to the Chapelcross team who have now completed the defueling of all four reactors.

“This was an extremely challenging target which required defueling rates to be significantly improved and sustained over a 12 month period.

"The fact that the team was able to achieve that and safely deliver ahead of schedule is a testament to the dedication and professionalism of everyone involved.”

– Neil Baldwin , Magnox Managing Director

Milestone reached in decommissioning Chapelcross

Workers see off the last spent fuel rod to leave Chapelcross Credit: ITV News Border

A milestone in the decommissioning of Chapelcross was reached today when the last flask of spent fuel left the plant.

The container with around 150 fuel rods on board was transported by lorry from south-west Scotland to be reprocessed at Sellafield in Cumbria.

The former nuclear power plant at Chapelcross stopped producing electricity in 2004.

Its iconic cooling towers were demolished nearly six years ago, however there are still 1300 tonnes of asbestos to clear from the site, along with some intermediate level radioactive waste.

The final steps in the decommissioning process are not expected to finish until 2085.