Knowledge sharing helps site shutdown progress

Knowledge sharing helps site shutdown progress

Leading the way in worldwide nuclear decommissioning means the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and DSRL can share knowledge and expertise with other sites across the NDA estate around Britain.

A technology exchange meeting was recently held with DSRL and Magnox personnel to discuss reactor pond decommissioning. Lessons learned and challenges experienced and overcome are shared across the NDA’s estate to promote decommissioning efficiencies and help save time and money.

Despite the many similarities amongst reactor ponds there are also many differences in that no ‘one-size fits all’ technique for decommissioning is appropriate. The good practice of sharing information and knowledge and discussing technology applications is invaluable for unique decommissioning facilities like this.

In attendance was Herb Cruickshank, Magnox ponds technology lead and their ponds business manager Roger Gorrod. They met with members of DSRL’s reactor decommissioning team Mark Aitken, George Groat, Karen Gunn and Karl Shuler. The beginning of the meeting was also attended by Office for Nuclear Regulation representative Peter Watson where a presentation was made of the DFR pond history and status. He then toured the project work site along with Roger Gorrod.

The focus of this latest meeting, which was the fourth of its kind, was on creating documents to support safe working conditions. Reviews of the DFR pond liner removal concepts were also discussed as the water removal and sludge capture are now nearing completion. In addition to discussing strategy and methods, there was an excellent dialogue on reducing radiological exposure to workers by using telemetry dosimetry, this technique is routinely used and has proven very successful at Dounreay.

Stuart Chalmers, NDA programme manager, said: ‘The NDA continues to facilitate cross-site licence company collaboration. This is an excellent example of inter-site working and sharing expertise to achieve an NDA strategic goal.”

Magnox holds regular pond decommissioning meetings, and it is planned for DSRL’s Karen Gunn of the health physics team to attend future meetings.