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

The digital age requires cultural sensitivity
18 October 2021

Even when sat in their living room, government officials working with international partners need to be cognisant and respectful of other cultures, according to experts Matt Minshall and Mark...

The business case for IT upgrades and a surfeit of sign-ins – five things we learned about the future of digital government
13 October 2021

At techUK’s recent annual public sector tech conference, government’s digital leaders discussed their plans for the months ahead and the challenges they currently face. PublicTechnology...

Scottish Government working on fix for Covid status app after industry bemoans ‘disastrous launch’
4 October 2021

Football grounds among venues not to impose demand for status evidence as users report issues accessing their vaccination record

GDS chief on how new government login is avoiding the mistakes of Verify
30 September 2021

Tom Read tells MPs that work to develop new platform is taking a much more iterative approach than its troubled predecessor

Related Sponsored Articles

The public sector’s path to becoming Consciously Hybrid
29 September 2021

Experts from HPE outline why effective digital transformation requires a ‘Consciously Hybrid’ approach to cloud - and how best to achieve this