Dounreay’s clean-up company is taking part in a UK initiative that aims to standardise the way Britain’s most hazardous radioactive wastes are looked after in future.
A workshop this month will consider a draft set of guiding principles that are being developed to assist the UK’s nuclear industry on the packaging and storage of higher-activity waste.
It follows the launch earlier this year by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority of a project involving waste management experts from NDA, its site licence companies, British Energy, the Ministry of Defence and commercial waste producers.
NDA says its goal is to ensure “a consistent and robust approach to packaging and store lifetimes across the UK, as well as enhance the confidence of regulators, Government and local stakeholders”.
Higher-activity waste includes all vitrified high-level waste, intermediate level waste and a small volume of low level waste.
Intermediate-level waste exists at Dounreay in both liquid and solid states.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd operates a chemical plant where the liquors are converted to a solid, cement-based form that is suitable for long-storage.
A separate treatment plant for getting the solid waste into a similar condition has been put on hold while the site licence company examines an alternative approach.