Nuclear power control desk heads for second life as movie star

Written by Jim Dunton on 10 September 2020 in News
News

Government agency sells unit to film studio for £10,200

Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

A futuristic control desk from a disused nuclear power facility in Suffolk has been sold to a film studio and is expected to be used on the sets of future blockbusters, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency has said.

The NDA said the “reactor in-core inspection desk” from the Sizewell A power station had been sold on an internet auction site, with the winning bid of £10,200 coming from a film studio based near Oxford that has previously worked on Harry Potter films among other box-office hits.

The desk allowed workers to remotely check conditions deep inside the reactors at Sizewell A and was last used in 2005, just before the site stopped generating electricity. Subcontractors working for the NDA’s clean-up contractor Magnox Ltd decided to auction the desk once it had been inspected and certified as contamination-free as an alternative to dismantling the equipment, which was state-of-the-art when it was commissioned more than 50 years ago.


Related content


Magnox engineering and asset-management director Caron Weaver said the sale was a cost-effective alternative to months of painstaking work taking the desk apart by hand, and proved there was still value in vintage power-station equipment.

“Our mindset is changing to ensure we exploit our assets and not follow the norm and throw them away as waste,” she said. “Before we throw away any item we must consider reuse and we must achieve best value for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the UK taxpayer and, most importantly, the environment through reuse and resale.”

Sizewell A disposal manager Mark Thurston said each section of the desk would have taken two people at least one week to dismantle for scrap.

“I look forward to spotting it in a film at some point in the future,” he added.

The NDA did not name the film studio that bought the desk, but said the company had been involved with the production of World War Z, Iron Man 2 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

‘A core part of national infrastructure’ – ministers consider regulating to make the cloud safer
27 May 2022

Consultation launched seeking feedback on risks and mitigations for systems that now underpin a wide range of ‘essential services’ 

Fraud challenges see HMRC and DWP named among ‘departments of concern’
27 May 2022

Public spending watchdog points to issues with controls on fraud and error

NHS signs £30m deal for ongoing support of Covid testing digital platforms
23 May 2022

Accenture picked as supplier of choice for two-year contract that will cover support and ‘disaggregation’ activities

Majority of firms collect personal data, government report finds
19 May 2022

Potential of data economy – and importance of protecting information – highlighted by study