Sellafield Limited is the legal custodian of a large number of redundant oxide fuel flasks that have previously been used to transport used nuclear fuel from overseas reactor sites to be reprocessed at Sellafield. The corresponding reprocessing contracts have now come to an end, and the flasks are being stored pending final decommissioning and the disposal of any wastes that may be produced. The redundant flasks retain a degree of internal radioactive contamination.
Just under one third of the redundant flasks are the property of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), but the remainder are owned on behalf of Japanese Utility (JU) companies by Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited (PNTL). A single agent (International Nuclear Services, INS – a wholly owned subsidiary of the NDA) acts as the interface between the owners of the flasks and Sellafield Limited regarding their management.
Quintessa, working in partnership with Jacobs UK Ltd, provided independent process design and facilitation for a BAT (Best Available Techniques) study to identify a preferred strategy for the treatment and management of the flasks. The process ensured appropriate engagement with key stakeholders including the UK and Japanese license holders, regulators, planning authority representatives, and suppliers. The end product was a BAT treatment strategy outcome that was acceptable to key stakeholders including the liability owners, and is currently being integrated into forward plans for implementation.
Image copyright of Sellafield Limited