The Customer Challenge
At Magnox’s Bradwell site, FED waste had been recovered into drums from storage vaults, and included un-corroded metallic magnesium alloy; corrosion products; gravel from the storage vaults and interface waste.
The baseline strategy to treat over 240 tonnes of FED at Bradwell by dissolving it in nitric acid had suffered delays due to significant technical challenges. A new approach to managing FED was needed to mitigate decommissioning delays and costs.
The Tradebe Inutec Solution
An integrated project team of Tradebe Inutec, Magnox and the LLWR was established to develop a new management route for this radioactive waste, enabling disposal at the LLWR, and diverting suitable FED from dissolution to mitigate delay risk to Bradwell entering ‘Care & Maintenance.
The project diverted 145 tonnes of LLW FED, gravel and interface materials to the new route, within the agreed timescale. The last shipment of waste left the Bradwell site in March 2017.
Value to Customers
The project enabled a huge step forward in the decommissioning of one of the UK’s earliest nuclear sites, with approximately 1,400 FED drums transferring off Magnox’s Bradwell site. This led to approximately two years of dissolution operations being saved, bringing forward the site closure programme by nearly a year and representing £29M in taxpayer savings.
New solutions and techniques to deal with problematic radioactive waste more quickly and efficiently were identified, supporting the NDA’s mission.