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Title: Managing Low-Level Waste at Dounreay - 16269

Abstract

Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) is the site licence company responsible for the clean-up and demolition of Britain's former centre of fast reactor research and development. The Dounreay site requires facilities to dispose of up to 175,000 cubic metres of low level waste (LLW) that has been and will continue to be generated during the decommissioning and restoration of the site. In May 2014, construction of two new vaults for the disposal of LLW at Dounreay was completed, including the necessary roads, infrastructures and services, followed by an encapsulation plant in September 2014. The vaults are located immediately to the northeast of the Dounreay licensed site, on NDA-owned land. The facilities are for disposal of the solid LLW generated at Dounreay and the adjacent Vulcan site only. In 2004, following consultation with stakeholders and members of the public, Dounreay issued the 'Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) Report' on the management of Dounreay LLW. This report assessed potential management options for LLW against a range of criteria, including technical, environmental, cost, health and safety issues. The study was conducted in line with best practice and involved consultation with a range of people, including the local community and organisations with an interestmore » in radioactive waste management. The recommendations and conclusions from the study provided the basis for the 'Dounreay Solid LLW Overall Strategy', which was published in March 2005. A fundamental component of this strategy was the development of new below-ground disposal vaults for LLW at Dounreay. Siting the vaults on land at Dounreay avoids any need to transport the LLW away from Dounreay on public roads. Disposal at Dounreay therefore satisfies the proximity principle of managing the waste at source. Disposal at Dounreay is also consistent with UK Government Policy on LLW management, the Scottish Government's Radioactive Waste Management Policy and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's (NDA's) strategy on management of LLW from the UK nuclear industry. A planning application was initially lodged with the Highland Council in June 2006. The period for the determination of this application was extended to allow the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) sufficient time to assess fully the supporting Environmental Safety Case (ESC). The planning application was re-activated in May 2008, and planning permission was granted by Highland Council in April 2009. The planning permission included 26 conditions on DSRL, covering a wide range of environmental issues such as construction noise/dust, traffic, visual impact and also a condition to develop a community fund aimed at socio-economic development of the area around the Dounreay site. After undertaking the necessary detailed design work, construction of the phase one vaults commenced in November 2011 by principal contractor, Graham Construction. Work was undertaken on both vaults simultaneously, excavating around 243,000 m{sup 3} of rock. When excavation was complete, steel reinforcement was placed and concrete poured to construct the floor slabs. This was followed by the construction of the reinforced walls and then the installation of the steel support structure and materials that form the roof. Mechanical and electrical installation then followed, in parallel with the construction of the vault apron, ramps and access roads. A pumping system and control building was also constructed to remove groundwater from around the vaults to allow the vaults to be kept dry while they are being filled with waste. A layer of excavated material, approximately 3 m thick, was placed across the existing ground surface between the vaults and the coast, to ensure the water table lies well below the new ground surface after closure of the vaults, and that any future trace contaminated groundwater flows out to the sea rather than to the soil zone. This layer is referred to in project documents as the 'enhanced geosphere'. After disposals are completed and the vaults are closed, this layer will be joined to the capping over the vaults so that the ensemble merges visually with the surrounding landscape. The original vegetation and soil mix will be returned as far as is practicable. An encapsulation plant has been constructed to fill the LLW containers with grout prior to disposal in the vault, similar to the process used at the national Low-Level Waste Repository facility (LLWR), near Drigg in Cumbria. The plant has the capacity to grout up to four containers per day. The grout fills voids in the container and helps provide chemical conditions in the vault that limit the release of radionuclides in the far future, after the vault has been penetrated by groundwater. On April 24 2015, active commissioning began at the Encapsulation Plant and LLW Vaults. Half-height ISO containers packed with low level waste are currently being filled with grout and disposed of in the LLW Vault. Also packaged Demolition Low Level Waste (DLLW) is being processed and disposed of in the Demolition Low Level Waste Vault. To date over 2500 packages of DLLW and 70 containers LLW have been disposed of. Completion of construction and the start of operating the Phase One vaults and encapsulation plant are fundamental to the successful and efficient decommissioning of the Dounreay site, upon which many millions of pounds of investment and hundreds of jobs rely.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, Inc., PO Box 27646, 85285-7646 Tempe, AZ (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22838124
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-19-WM-16269
TRN: US19V1317083479
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2016: 42. Annual Waste Management Symposium, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 6-10 Mar 2016; Other Information: Country of input: France; available online at: http://archive.wmsym.org/2016/index.html
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; COMMISSIONING; CONCRETES; CONTAINERS; DECOMMISSIONING; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; ENCAPSULATION; FAST REACTORS; GROUND DISPOSAL; GROUND WATER; LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; NUCLEAR INDUSTRY; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT; RADIOISOTOPES; RECOMMENDATIONS; ROCKS; SOILS; STEELS; UNITED KINGDOM

Citation Formats

Mackay, Marie, and Covert, Bruce. Managing Low-Level Waste at Dounreay - 16269. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Mackay, Marie, & Covert, Bruce. Managing Low-Level Waste at Dounreay - 16269. United States.
Mackay, Marie, and Covert, Bruce. Fri . "Managing Low-Level Waste at Dounreay - 16269". United States.
@article{osti_22838124,
title = {Managing Low-Level Waste at Dounreay - 16269},
author = {Mackay, Marie and Covert, Bruce},
abstractNote = {Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) is the site licence company responsible for the clean-up and demolition of Britain's former centre of fast reactor research and development. The Dounreay site requires facilities to dispose of up to 175,000 cubic metres of low level waste (LLW) that has been and will continue to be generated during the decommissioning and restoration of the site. In May 2014, construction of two new vaults for the disposal of LLW at Dounreay was completed, including the necessary roads, infrastructures and services, followed by an encapsulation plant in September 2014. The vaults are located immediately to the northeast of the Dounreay licensed site, on NDA-owned land. The facilities are for disposal of the solid LLW generated at Dounreay and the adjacent Vulcan site only. In 2004, following consultation with stakeholders and members of the public, Dounreay issued the 'Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) Report' on the management of Dounreay LLW. This report assessed potential management options for LLW against a range of criteria, including technical, environmental, cost, health and safety issues. The study was conducted in line with best practice and involved consultation with a range of people, including the local community and organisations with an interest in radioactive waste management. The recommendations and conclusions from the study provided the basis for the 'Dounreay Solid LLW Overall Strategy', which was published in March 2005. A fundamental component of this strategy was the development of new below-ground disposal vaults for LLW at Dounreay. Siting the vaults on land at Dounreay avoids any need to transport the LLW away from Dounreay on public roads. Disposal at Dounreay therefore satisfies the proximity principle of managing the waste at source. Disposal at Dounreay is also consistent with UK Government Policy on LLW management, the Scottish Government's Radioactive Waste Management Policy and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's (NDA's) strategy on management of LLW from the UK nuclear industry. A planning application was initially lodged with the Highland Council in June 2006. The period for the determination of this application was extended to allow the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) sufficient time to assess fully the supporting Environmental Safety Case (ESC). The planning application was re-activated in May 2008, and planning permission was granted by Highland Council in April 2009. The planning permission included 26 conditions on DSRL, covering a wide range of environmental issues such as construction noise/dust, traffic, visual impact and also a condition to develop a community fund aimed at socio-economic development of the area around the Dounreay site. After undertaking the necessary detailed design work, construction of the phase one vaults commenced in November 2011 by principal contractor, Graham Construction. Work was undertaken on both vaults simultaneously, excavating around 243,000 m{sup 3} of rock. When excavation was complete, steel reinforcement was placed and concrete poured to construct the floor slabs. This was followed by the construction of the reinforced walls and then the installation of the steel support structure and materials that form the roof. Mechanical and electrical installation then followed, in parallel with the construction of the vault apron, ramps and access roads. A pumping system and control building was also constructed to remove groundwater from around the vaults to allow the vaults to be kept dry while they are being filled with waste. A layer of excavated material, approximately 3 m thick, was placed across the existing ground surface between the vaults and the coast, to ensure the water table lies well below the new ground surface after closure of the vaults, and that any future trace contaminated groundwater flows out to the sea rather than to the soil zone. This layer is referred to in project documents as the 'enhanced geosphere'. After disposals are completed and the vaults are closed, this layer will be joined to the capping over the vaults so that the ensemble merges visually with the surrounding landscape. The original vegetation and soil mix will be returned as far as is practicable. An encapsulation plant has been constructed to fill the LLW containers with grout prior to disposal in the vault, similar to the process used at the national Low-Level Waste Repository facility (LLWR), near Drigg in Cumbria. The plant has the capacity to grout up to four containers per day. The grout fills voids in the container and helps provide chemical conditions in the vault that limit the release of radionuclides in the far future, after the vault has been penetrated by groundwater. On April 24 2015, active commissioning began at the Encapsulation Plant and LLW Vaults. Half-height ISO containers packed with low level waste are currently being filled with grout and disposed of in the LLW Vault. Also packaged Demolition Low Level Waste (DLLW) is being processed and disposed of in the Demolition Low Level Waste Vault. To date over 2500 packages of DLLW and 70 containers LLW have been disposed of. Completion of construction and the start of operating the Phase One vaults and encapsulation plant are fundamental to the successful and efficient decommissioning of the Dounreay site, upon which many millions of pounds of investment and hundreds of jobs rely.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/22838124}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {7}
}

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