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Nuclear Decommissioning

Decommissioning of legacy waste

Across the world's reprocessing sites, we are helping to solve the legacy of now obsolete settling or storage tanks filled with radioactive waste. We occupy a specialist position advising our nuclear sector clients on how to dredge and re-suspend tank sludge and other physical deposits; making them suitable for handling and fluid transport.

We produce process flow sheet designs for novel complex waste handling and processing systems where significant physical components, including sample bottles, drums, contaminated fabrics etc., have been contaminated with active and fissionable materials and stored over extended periods to a point where degradation and cementation are significant problems.

We provide process and design advice for all fluid dynamic aspects of processing waste sludges from chemical reaction stages through to cementation and vitrification. Our designs have been applied to many of the Sellafield, UK processing lines. Using our specialised rheological and solids/slurry handling expertise, we have developed simulants to permit large scale assessment on active sludges.

We are able to validate fluid handling and processing procedures using custom built test rigs and has developed specialist instrumentation and procedures to characterise a wide range of process fluids.

Deep in the core of nuclear reactors, in extremely challenging toxic and hazardous environments, BHR Group high pressure water jetting technology is used to cut steel and concrete structures. Our cutting technology is remotely controlled with the small cutting nozzle capable of being 1000m from the operating station. Our cold cutting technology produces no active vapour, smoke or flammable gases, and is capable of operating underwater and in explosive hydrogen/oxygen gas mixtures.

High pressure water jet cutting is a certified, proven and attractive option for decommissioning and dismantling operations in technically challenging locations.

Applications

  • Development and characterisation of specialised simulants
  • Agitation and jet mixer designs for a wide range of process and storage vessels
  • Mixing and characterisation of cements and handling systems for encapsulation processes
  • Process flow sheet design and experimentation
  • Solids dredging, re-suspension, pumping and separation of long term storage materials
  • Sealing and containment
  • Seal and gasket design including permeation and life prediction
  • Asbestos replacement studies
  • Material stability studies on reactor composites and components
  • Design and testing of sealing systems for specialised machinery