Waste Management Strategy Development
We support our clients with novel waste management approaches and the development of appropriate packaging solutions for a variety of waste types and regulations. Our structured approach to waste management and keen understanding of radioactive waste properties has led to us delivering valuable savings for many clients around the UK.
We provide expert advice on all areas of waste management, including:
- Waste characterisation, treatment and conditioning
- Waste inventory development
- Container strategy studies and container approval
- Preparation of LoC submissions and radioactive waste management cases
- Data quality objective characterisation
- Sampling plan preparation
Optioneering and BAT Assessment
To comply with the requirements of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 (EPR10), it must be demonstrated that Best Available Techniques (BAT) are being implemented in order to minimise radioactive discharges, emissions and waste.
We use our extensive knowledge and expertise to assess each project on an individual basis and produce proposals underpinned by effective BAT. As well as utilising our industry knowledge, we also collaborate closely with our customers and industry colleagues to produce a BAT which is practicable whilst complementing the specific project intricacies.
Our Consultancy Services team regularly support clients with workshop facilitation and optioneering studies, where we can share our experience and knowledge to ensure maximum value to our clients.
LoC Preparation, Submission and Interaction
We are recognised by Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM) as supply chain experts in the production of Letter of Compliance (LoC) submissions and supporting technical documentation for the UK nuclear industry. This includes extensive experience in the production of Criticality Compliance Assurance Documentation (CCAD), Waste Product Specification (WPrS), Data Recording Methodology (DRM) and Disposability Record Specification (DRS). We have expert LoC authors in our team with long-term, in-depth knowledge of the LoC process and junior members of the team who have authored supporting technical documentation and supported in excess of 100 LoC submissions.
We also offer expert guidance on the specification and characterisation (including sampling/analysis and assay techniques) of wastes, in order to produce technically underpinned, high-quality LoC submissions. Our technical consultants have many years’ experience in characterising, understanding and mitigating waste/matrix interactions (for both cementitious and polymeric encapsulants), including problematic wastes such as reactive metals and ion-exchange media.
Our team also support clients in formulating responses to issues raised by RWM in the assessment of these submissions. This is complemented by our experience in providing support to RWM in the assessment of LoC submissions on a contractual basis and through secondment of team members to RWM.
Waste Stream Characterisation and DQO
The majority of our site activities are associated with waste management and the minimisation and implementation of the waste hierarchy. As a waste-led business, we strive to minimise the amount of material requiring expensive disposal solutions. We have a wealth of experience in the management of radioactive waste and are committed to the appropriate sentencing of all wastes through robust planning, detailed dialogue with waste service providers, effective characterisation strategies, and excellent site control and implementation.
Our teams have experience of undertaking projects involving the majority of waste types encountered in the UK and we can use this experience, together with a detailed knowledge of the various conditions for acceptance, to fully assess the most appropriate waste route. In parallel, we consider the information required to underpin and support our waste proposal decisions and our consultants, engineers and site teams work together to develop practical approaches for waste stream identification, characterisation, packaging and disposal.
We have expertise in the development of waste management strategies and waste characterisation methodologies, often in accordance with the Data Quality Objectives (DQO) process developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). This is a framework for the development of statistically defensible and robust sampling strategies to support decision making, such as the identification of contamination or waste assessment of building fabric materials.
Waste Retrieval, Processing and Packaging
We have been at the forefront of providing operational support to both solid and mobile waste retrieval projects for over 30 years and have completed many waste retrieval campaigns across the UK, successfully retrieving and processing more than two million litres of radioactive waste for onward storage. Many of these projects have involved developing bespoke retrieval systems, often using off-the-shelf plant items, to meet the individual requirements and challenges of each nuclear licensed site.
To support this service, we have designed, built and operated small-scale and full-size test mock-ups of ponds, vaults, tanks and silos. Through this work, we have developed a toolbox of retrieval techniques for both wet and solid waste. This includes retrieval systems which have incorporated mixers, agitators, macerators, eductors and pumps. We have also designed, installed and operated pneumatic conveyance systems that have proved successful for the retrieval of both wet and solid waste at various sites across the UK. Our success in this area has been recognised through awards from Magnox and the NDA.
Having retrieved the waste, conditioning is often required to make it suitable for long-term storage. We have developed techniques for waste stabilisation and volumetric reduction that can be readily applied in radiologically-controlled environments.
In support of this approach, we have structured our development facility so that we can conduct testing to prove the most effective and practical conditioning process for each waste type. Our structured approach to waste management and keen understanding of radioactive waste properties has led to us delivering valuable savings for many clients around the UK.
Waste Processing: Segregation
Many waste management strategies involve segregating wastes with differing properties so that they can be treated independently. In order for this approach to work, it is crucial to have robust processes in place to ensure that the waste can be separated. We have had significant involvement in many large projects which have developed processes for screening, separating, size reduction and assaying.
Waste Processing: Encapsulation and Grouting
We have extensive experience in cement solidification and encapsulation technologies and have been involved in the design of LLW and ILW encapsulation plant for over 30 years. In partnership with our clients, we have taken designs from proof of concept right through to inactive commissioning, site commissioning and operation.
The chemical or physical nature of certain wastes means that it is sometimes not possible to use cement for encapsulation for passive storage. We are the UK's leading expert in the use of polymers for encapsulation of radioactive waste.