UK Sellafield Magnox Reprocessing Plant to close in 2021, one year later than planned

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has approved resumed operations at the UK B205 Magnox Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield to allow completion of work on the remaining spent fuel from the UK's shutdown Magnox reactors. The B205 plant, which began operation in 1964, was scheduled to be closed in 2020 after having finished this work, but progress was halted when it was put into "controlled shutdown" in early 2020 because of the covid-19 pandemic.

The B205 plant will be shut down after Magnox reprocessing operations are completed in 2021, one year later than previously planned. The plant's original closure was planned for 2012 but this was delayed multiple times. The plant has had safety issues including a leak of radioactive condensation that lasted for and went unnoticed for 12 months. B205 operations have been the largest source of radioactive discharge to the Irish Sea from the Sellafield site.

The UK's Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) was shut in November 2018 . The troubled history of THORP was detailed in the 2019 IPFM report Endless Trouble: Britain's Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) by Martin Forwood, Gordon MacKerron and William Walker.

The history and background of UK reprocessing was covered in the 2008 IPFM report The Legacy of Reprocessing in the United Kingdom by Martin Forwood.