Major Milestone Achieved at LLWR

A major skyline change is under way at the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) in West Cumbria. As the preferred partner on the PCM Decommissioning and Demolition contract and in collaboration with LLW Repository Ltd and KDC, the Drigg-based NSG site team have safely completed the demolition of the Magazine 4 Retrieval Facility (MRF), a fixture at the site since the 1990s.

Magazine 4 is the first of five remaining MRFs to be demolished, with soil removed from the top of the magazine structure, erection of an environmental barrier at the magazine entrance and the removal off site of all remaining waste. The team have proven the demolition method for the MRF and the method will be reviewed as part of the post-project review to identify any improvements and efficiencies for future demolition phases.

MRFs are purpose-built engineered facilities, constructed to allow the retrieval of plutonium contaminated materials (PCM) from magazines before decommissioning and demolition could begin. All remaining magazines on the site will be demolished, in time, to make way for future vaults.

NSG Sets the Standard for Safety

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the British Safety Council Five Star accreditation, which sets the standard for excellence in occupational health and safety.

Utilising extensive worldwide industry experience and acknowledging aspects of internationally recognised occupational health and safety management system frameworks, the British Safety Council Five Star Audit objectively evaluates health and safety systems and arrangements against current best practice techniques.

The process involved an in-depth examination of our entire health and safety management system and associated arrangements, focusing on the key aspects of our approach to managing occupational health and safety in the workplace. Following the assessment, the British Safety Council auditor commented: “Other companies will have to raise the bar to match the standards set by NSG.”

We are also delighted to announce that we have exceeded two-million consecutive working hours without a RIDDOR event. This fantastic achievement equates to over seven years of safe working across all sites, with all members of staff contributing and embracing our safety culture.

NSG Highly Commended at NDA Awards

We are delighted to announce that we have been Highly Commended at the NDA Estate Supply Chain Awards, which took place on Thursday 6 November at EventCity in Manchester. The commendation, in the category ‘Best application of an innovative solution(s) with tangible savings/benefits’, recognises NSG’s success at Magnox Berkeley with the bulk retrieval of ILW sludge and resin from storage tanks in the Caesium Removal Plant.

NSG were contracted by Magnox to design, install and commission a system capable of successfully retrieving the historic waste from the storage tanks into ductile cast iron containers (DCICs). NSG proposed an innovative system of pneumatic conveying based on an off-the-shelf system that had previously been used for transferring other media with similar properties at NSG’s head office. The availability of this equipment and NSG’s ‘can do’ attitude led to appropriately robust documentation produced for active site retrieval trials. Following trials, the NSG site team ensured completion of the project lifecycle through successful on-site operation, paving the way for the demolition of the redundant building.

We are also delighted to announce that Give2Gain has won the award for ‘Best supply chain collaboration’. Give2Gain is a skills development programme headed by NSG’s sister company NIS Ltd on behalf of 30 companies, including NSG, and coordinated through the National Skills Academy for Nuclear. Gill Marsden, Business Development and Project Delivery Director at NIS, collected the award on behalf of the team.

NSG Collaboration Celebrated at Sellafield Supply Chain Awards

We are delighted to announce that we, together with our supply chain partners who collectively make up the Enabling Innovation Framework (EIF) team, have won the award for Supply Chain Collaboration at the annual Sellafield Supply Chain Awards 2014, which took place on the 12th of June at Energus, Workington.

The EIF team comprises DBD, IDOM Merebrook, National Nuclear Laboratory, North West Projects, NSG Environmental Ltd, Nuclear Technologies, NUKEM Technologies, REACT Engineering Ltd and Westlakes Engineering Ltd. The team were brought together because of their expertise in defining, scoping and rationalising problems and proven track records, both individually and collectively, and to support Sellafield Ltd’s goals of demonstrating best practice, value for money and intelligent and innovative application of existing and new technologies in their approach to decommissioning and waste management.

We are also delighted to announce that we were also ‘commended’ in the Supply Chain Collaboration category for advance works in support of the Box Encapsulation Project (BEP).

Magnox and NSG Successfully Retrieve Sludge at Berkeley

NSG were contracted by Magnox on the ILW Framework to design, install and commission a vacuum retrieval system for the ILW sludge and ion exchange resins stored within the tanks at the Caesium Removal Plant (CRP) at Berkeley Power Station.

In 2012, the Magnox and NSG team retrieved a limited amount of sludge from the Sand and Sludge Settling Tank before commencing bulk retrievals. This proved a success and over 11m³ of standing water was recovered from the tank before the team recovered 1m³ of sludge to 200 litre shielded drums.

After a period of time, the team returned to site to install the enhanced system. The Magnox and NSG team retrieved the remaining bulk of the sludge into six Ductile Cast Iron Containers (DCICs). The bulk retrieval was completed weeks ahead of schedule, proving both time and cost efficient. The team are currently in the process of retrieving a similar volume of resin to DCICs from the adjacent Spent Resin Settling Tank, which is expected to be finished as early as March 2014.

Phil Sprague, Magnox ILW Programme Director, said

Magnox has worked with NSG to develop this innovative retrieval solution, and now that we have successfully completed bulk sludge retrievals, we can move onto the retrieval of resins from the other settling tank. This vacuum system is another important tool in the ILW programme toolbox and we are actively looking to share our learning and the kit with other Magnox sites.

As part of Magnox’s ‘lead and learn’ strategy, NSG have been contacted by Chapelcross Power Station about the prospect of using a similar principle for a different project. Additionally, Bradwell Power Station is using the same solution to remove the remaining heel sludge from their storage tank. This demonstrates the value and importance of shared learning for the benefit of the ILW Framework, whilst also reducing cost by implementing knowledge and expertise already gained on previous collaborations.

NSG Collaboration Celebrated at NDA Estate Supply Chain Awards

We are delighted to announce that we, together with our supply chain partners who collectively make up the Unity team, have won the award for Best Supply Chain Collaboration at the annual NDA Estate Supply Chain Awards, which took place on Thursday 13 November in Manchester.

Unity is a team of specialist organisations brought together by NSG in 2012 for the NDA Direct Research Portfolio (DRP) Framework, under which the NDA can identify and commission external support for generic R&D applicable to the whole NDA estate. The companies that came together to form Unity have a wide range of knowledge and capabilities, both within and outside the nuclear field. By combining a number of small/medium enterprises (SMEs), larger international companies and academic institutions, Unity offers the NDA access to a greater choice of knowledge and experience across the supply chain base.

The award acknowledged Unity’s more recent success on the collaborative delivery of a strategic study to support a programme approach to the treatment of high active waste (HAW). This project took place over a seven month period and was commissioned under the NDA DRP Integrated Waste Management Framework. The resources from six of the member companies were utilised to deliver the scope of this particular project: NSG, DBD, Gardiner and Theobald, and SKM Enviros, with expert advice on waste treatment technologies provided by the Nuclear Graphite Research Group of University of Manchester and Studsvik. Collaborative working allowed the team to produce a comprehensive strategic business case detailing the economic, commercial, financial and management cases for the implementation of a multi-technology approach for the treatment of HAW.

Several members of the Unity team and NSG attended the Supply Chain Event, with Jonathan Cox accepting the award on behalf of the team. The award demonstrates the value of collaboration within the Direct Research Portfolio Framework and is testament to NSG’s ability to lead from the front in the fields of nuclear decommissioning and waste management.