Decommissioning Strategy Development

Strategy development for decommissioning includes reviewing international best practice and applying this to optioneering studies, such as Best Available Techniques (BAT) studies in England and Wales, Best Practicable Means (BPM) studies in Scotland and the development of integrated waste strategy documents. We deliver expert guidance on waste-driven decommissioning strategies and provide technical reviews of decommissioning plans and suggested strategies.

The development of waste-led decommissioning strategies and understanding the practical implementation of such strategies is a key focus for us. The UK nuclear waste management sector has evolved significantly over recent years and we have a detailed understanding of the current requirements and options available for waste treatment, processing and disposal.

POCO Support and Delivery

Following the final shutdown of nuclear facilities, a period of post-operational clean out (POCO) is normally undertaken to reduce the hazards present, isolate sources of energy and process residual operational wastes. This work is normally completed under the operational safety case prior to the decommissioning safety case being developed and we understand that the boundaries of this work need to be kept within the confines of the existing safety case. During the POCO works, we also gather information on the plant conditions to support the development of the decommissioning safety case.

We believe that an efficient POCO process is key in preparation for decommissioning and to allow a safe stable state to be established. Our expertise in this area has been enhanced by the safe and successful execution of numerous POCO projects at sites around the UK.

Facility, Plant and Equipment Decontamination and Decommissioning

Our capability in decommissioning and decontamination covers the full spectrum of challenges, with a portfolio of completed projects ranging from small decommissioning tasks within facilities to large complex projects requiring turnkey solutions and leading to demolition and land remediation. Our SQEP team has extensive experience in a variety of decommissioning environments, including pressurised breathing air-fed suit operations, beryllium, confined spaces, working at height, mobile plant operation, concrete cutting, crane driving and slinging.

Some of the decommissioning projects we have undertaken in recent years are:

  • Gloveboxes and fume cupboards
  • Laboratories
  • Water treatment plants
  • Liquid effluent systems
  • Ventilation systems
  • Pond furniture
  • Asbestos
  • Concrete containments
  • Cyclotrons

Decontamination operations often go hand in hand with decommissioning and are undertaken at various stages of the works. We have successfully utilised a range of decontamination methods, including:

  • Scabbling
  • Chemical and detergent
  • Sponge-Jet
  • Water jetting and pressure washing
  • Shot blasting
  • Electrochemical polishing
  • Simple abrasive techniques, such as power and hand tools

Facility Modifications, Refurbishment and Enhancement

In order to facilitate decommissioning, it may be necessary to modify, refurbish or enhance an area to provide the required infrastructure for successful project delivery. Our team of multi-skilled classified operatives are trained and experienced in the installation and commissioning of a variety of systems in controlled areas, including instrumentation, process, electrical and HVAC.

Full Radiological Protection Service

We have a unique understanding of radiological protection and radioactive waste management issues and are able to provide our customers with expert advice and practical support through both the project development and delivery phases. Our team has experience of working with the majority of the radionuclides encountered within the UK nuclear industry and can provide the following services to support the complete project lifecycle:

  • Radiation Protection Advisor (RPA) consultancy
  • Provision of Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS) and health physics support, including the provision and operation of all associated equipment
  • Establishment and management of controlled areas under the Ionising Radiation Regulations
  • Preparation and management of documentation: dose assessments, radiological risk assessments, local rules, EA licensing submissions, and BAT assessments and statements

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