There was a point during BBC 4’s Britain’s Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield when the scale and complexity of dealing with certain types of nuclear waste was made clear. One of the site’s ponds was home to spent nuclear fuel, isotope cartridges and reactor components that had been in situ for 50 years. The plan was to remove it, encapsulate it in concrete and then put it into steel containers. But moving waste of a certain vintage is fraught with hazards and during the broadcast workers at the plant demonstrated to the show’s presenter Prof. Jim Al-Khalili how ROVs and robotic arms were being employed to investigate the pond’s contents and how they might best be removed. Nuclear waste management and decommissioning is high on the agenda at Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017, which takes place in London between February 28 and March 1. It is also at the forefront of a funding round from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Innovate UK, who are making £3m available to businesses that can develop technologies that will help dismantle facilities at the Sellafield nuclear site, which shifts into full-scale decommissioning and waste management by 2020.
The Engineer 6th Feb 2017 read more »