Shore Test Facility reactor shut down

Shore Test Facility reactor shut down.
Shore Test Facility reactor shut down. | Coutesy of Gov.UK
The U.K. Ministry of Defense (MOD) announced on Thursday that the test nuclear reactor at the Naval Reactor Test Establishment (NRTE) in Caithness, Scotland, has been shut down after the completion of test operations.

The Shore Test Facility (STF) reactor has been in operation for approximately 13 years. The reactor acted as a prototype for giving advanced notice on potential issues that could occur on a submarine.

"Much has been learnt about nuclear reactors, and it was a valuable exercise to set up the shore test facility at the time that we did," Head of Program John Corderoy said. "However, the prototyping mission is now complete and so it is natural for the reactor to be shut down."

Now that the reactor is shut down, the defueling and decommissioning process will begin. The MOD states that those deployed with this project will continue work in post-operational work that will lead up to disposal of spent fuel, the reactor and its components.

"Work on the NRTE started in 1957, and since 1965 it has operated five different types of submarine reactor core," Defense Minister Philip Dunne said. "This valuable work has been crucial in providing the MOD with a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the long term operation of nuclear reactor cores."