The Art of Reprocessing

Opened in 1994, Thorp (Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant) at Sellafield, is one of only two commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing plants in the world. In its lifetime, it has reprocessed more than 9,000 tonnes of fuel from 30 customers in nine countries around the world and generated an estimated £9bn in revenue.

The last batch of fuel to be reprocessed began its journey through the plant at 11.32am on Friday 9 November.

This isn’t the end of the story though, Thorp will continue to serve the UK until the 2070s as a storage facility for spent fuel. Meanwhile, Sellafield is being reinvented as a centre of expertise for nuclear clean-up, unlocking 100 years’ worth of opportunity for the site’s workforce, supply chain, and community.

As Paul Foster, Sellafield Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer is quoted as saying: “The end of reprocessing at Thorp is one of the most important events in Sellafield’s history. As we look forward to an exciting future, we want to celebrate the best of our past.”

So what better way to celebrate the life of Thorp and Sellafield Ltd, than to commission artists from Cumbria, the UK and Japan to produce artworks inspired by the life of Thorp. The artworks will feature in a new exhibition opening to the public at The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven on 17 November 2018.

From the Parliamentary debates and public inquiries, to the feat of British engineering, the exhibition celebrates Thorp’s unique achievements and the people who made it possible.

Forepoint and the Sellafield Ltd corporate affairs team sourced, selected and commissioned all the artists before designing and installing the exhibition.

Commenting on the exhibition, director Steve Gill said: “Our relationship with Sellafield Ltd has existed almost as long as the Thorp plant itself! It has been a privilege for us to work with the team so closely on this exhibition. Due to the nature of the site, it is not an area that is accessible to all. The resulting paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and collages provide a unique opportunity to bring the plant to life for people who have never had the opportunity to see it for themselves.”

We would like to say a huge thank you to all the artists who contributed: Katie Edwards, Kathy Harris, Helaina Sharpley, Charlotte Ellis, Hollie Morton-O’Fee, Paul Leith, Heidi Hodkinson, Sarah Strachan, Jill Davis, Debby Akam, Simon Wilson, Chiyun Yeh, Marion Kuit, Issie Holmes, Thomas Hedger, Veronica Currie, Kate Eveson, Aimee Green, Sarah Taylor, Olivia Pilling, Jen Roocroft, Alicia Dickens, Ali Heggie and Neil Dawkins.

The Art of Reprocessing at the Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, is open to the public from Saturday, 17 November to March 2019.

For opening times and admission prices please use the following link:

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