Sellafield has entered a new era.

The site’s Thorp plant has completed its 24-year mission to reprocess spent nuclear fuel from around the world.

Opened in 1994, it was one of only two commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing plants in the world.

Sellafield Ltd said it reprocessed more than 9,000 tonnes of fuel from 30 customers in nine countries and generated an estimated £9bn in revenue.

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

There will be no redundancies as a result of the switch-off.

All employees in roles no longer required have been offered alternative jobs in the business.

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.

This will unlock 100 years’ worth of opportunity for the site’s workforce, supply chain, and community, the company said.

Paul Foster, Sellafield Ltd’s chief executive officer, said: “As we look forward to an exciting future, we want to celebrate the best of our past.

“The end of reprocessing at Thorp is one of the most important events in Sellafield’s history.

“Thorp has been a West Cumbrian success story. It has delivered jobs, skills, pride, and prestige.

“Together we completed one of the largest and most complex construction projects ever undertaken in Europe.

“I’m immensely proud of Thorp’s contribution and I’d like to thank the workforce for their unwavering dedication and professionalism throughout a period of unprecendented change.”

Thorp (or the Thermal Oxide Reporcessing Plant) is a third of a mile long.

It dominates a huge central strip of the Sellafield site and is the largest structure on the site.

Costing £1.8bn to build, it was paid for by its future customers.

The decision to cease reprocessing was taken in 2012 in response to a downturn in demand.