Site Decommissioning and Remediation

This theme addresses some of the key challenges in the decommissioning of nuclear sites.

Decommissioning nuclear sites involves waste retrieval, decontamination, deconstruction and, where necessary, containment and/or remediation of the remaining structure and surrounding land. Critical to management of these processes is limiting radiation exposure for the workforce, restricting the spread of radionuclides in groundwater, surface water and airborne particulates, and minimising the volume of contaminated waste for disposal.

The aim is to develop new technologies for monitoring, remediation and containment that serve to minimise the volume of radioactively contaminated waste for disposal, for application prior to, during and after retrieval, deconstruction and decontamination operations.

Theme Objectives:

  • Develop soil/infrastructure grouting strategies, for application prior to and during decommissioning, that minimise airborne and waterborne hazards and environmental risk
  • Develop viable in-situ and ex-situ wasteforms for silica-grouted soils/cements such that the silica is redeployed within the vitrified or cementitious wasteform
  • Adapt and develop low-energy ex-situ and in-situ electrokinetic remediation/waste volume minimisation approaches, already proven on some legacy wastes, to other UK nuclear sites, and to combine these with silica-based in-situ grouting/vitrification
  • Develop rapid non-invasive geophysical techniques for the assessment of radiological soil contamination and structural degradation (including reinforcement)

Work Packages:

  • Colloidal-Silica Grout
  • Electrokinetic Ground Remediation
  • Non-Invasive Monitoring of Soil Contamination, Structural Degradation, Assessment and Repair