Safe decommissioning of all nuclear facilities including reactors, fuel cycle facilities and research centres

The Challenge

First generation nuclear facilities were not designed and built to facilitate maintenance, decommissioning or dismantling. Furthermore, the challenges presented are often exacerbated by inadequate design and operational records so that potential hazards may be difficult to identify and quantify.

Decommissioning projects are made even more complex by:

  • A wide range of safety challenges to workers and the public.
  • Conventional construction and demolition hazards.
  • Hazardous chemicals.
  • Radiation and radioactive contamination.

Despite all these difficulties and unknowns, it is not only essential, but possible to:

  • Reassure regulators and owners that the risks are acceptable.
  • Establish a programme and budget and ensure that value for money is achieved.

Our Approach
Nuvia has been involved in design, construction, operation and maintenance of nuclear facilities since the start of the nuclear industry in the 1950s.

Since the late 1980s, the Nuvia Group has undertaken many successful decommissioning projects and now holds comprehensive experience on how decommissioning can be accomplished safely and cost effectively. The Group’s qualified staff have the experience to:

  • Develop decommissioning strategies, programmes and budgets.
  • Develop detailed decommissioning plans and procedures to ensure decommissioning processes are properly controlled and safe.
  • Train decommissioning staff in the safe implementation of decommissioning plans and procedures.
  • Undertake all decommissioning and decontamination operations including alpha facilities.
  • Characterise, sentence, package and minimise waste from decommissioning.
  • Design, manufacture, test and qualify special equipment.

Nuvia is organised to meet clients’ needs so that a flexible and comprehensive range of decommissioning services can be offered. We provide integrated teams from across our technical units drawing on all disciplines to support the complexities of a decommissioning project – including our own highly trained decommissioning operatives and radiation protection specialists. Our decommissioning teams are organised to undertake major decommissioning operations through to small emergency decommissioning and decontamination activities to meet the needs of a site or facility owner. With a resource base of approximately 1900 to call upon, including internationally recognised experts, Nuvia is able to provide safe and cost effective decommissioning services to a wide range of clients.

Our Solutions

A complete range of services
The Nuvia Group can provide all the services needed to safely, economically and successfully undertake the decommissioning of nuclear facilities including reactors, fuel cycle facilities and research centres. We can deliver an all-encompassing managed service, bespoke solutions or technical innovations – all with the aim of reducing the volumes of waste for final disposal following decontamination, segregation, sentencing and packaging. Nuvia is experienced in dealing with all types of contamination including plutonium, uranium, tritium and contaminated sodium.

From both national and international experience in decommissioning, Nuvia is able to provide the overall management of a decommissioning programme, including new build requirements, from the development of safe and cost effective strategies to final clearance. The strategies are developed into detailed methodologies, safety documents and schedules that include the following:

Risk Assessment and Risk Management
The potential for unknown risks as well as those which can be readily identified demands a rigorous but practical approach to ensure the safety of workers, the environment and the public.

Survey & Characterisation of Contamination and Waste Strategies
Nuvia employs a wide range of techniques and instruments to survey and characterise plant, facilities and waste. This includes the use of carefully designed sampling plans based on Data Quality Objectives methodologies.

Demolition and Certification of Clearance
Nuvia manages controlled demolition and carries out land remediation services to assist clients to realise the full value of their assets.

Decontamination, Segmentation, Sentencing and Packaging
Facilities for the long term storage and disposal of radioactive waste are scarce and expensive. Nuvia uses its skills and experience to minimise the volumes of radioactive waste for disposal and to reduce such waste to the lowest possible category. Nuvia has pioneered the techniques for achieving this, including the use of:

  • In situ decontamination including use of proprietary Nuvia chemicals and conventional mechanical techniques and decontamination of steel components by melting.
  • De-planting, segmentation, sentencing and packaging.
  • Consignment of waste.
  • Detailed characterisation, segmentation and sorting techniques.
  • Meticulous packing of solid waste to minimise disposal volumes.