Welcome to the Summer 2005 edition of Quintessa Update, the electronic newsletter of Quintessa Limited.

Quintessa Opens Warrington Office

Quintessa is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in Warrington initially staffed by Mike Egan, Alan Paulley and Alex Bond. The Warrington office provides a convenient base for work relating to Nuclear Decommissioning and Site Restoration. In particular the office is able to provide support to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and nuclear site licensees in the management of the UK’s nuclear legacy through: BPEO and BPM; site end point development; data interpretation and visualization; geology and hydrogeology; environmental risk assessments; and mathematical modelling.

For more information, please contact: Alan Paulley +44 (0)1925 885952 or Alex Bond +44 (0)1925 885951.

Post-Closure Safety Case for the Dounreay Shaft

The ILW Shaft at Dounreay, containing around 850 m3 of intermediate level radioactive waste, does not meet modern safety standards and therefore UKAEA intends retrieving the waste so the Shaft can be safely closed. This requires the facility to be isolated from surrounding groundwater. UKAEA proposes to do this by sealing the adjacent rock with cement-based grout. UKAEA contracted Quintessa to develop a preliminary Post-Closure Safety Case (PCSC) for the remediated Shaft, and undertake a range of supporting studies. These included a detailed re-evaluation of geology, hydrogeology and geochemistry; an assessment of Shaft closure options; a review of the inventory, and a safety assessment. In addition, summary and overview documents were produced. The suite of seven documents has been successfully submitted to regulators.

For more information please contact James Penfold.

Environmental issues and the geological storage of CO2

The British Geological Survey and Quintessa have recently published a position paper highlighting environmental issues associated with the geological storage of CO2. It is important that the effects of potential acute and chronic exposures of ecosystems to CO2 leakages are evaluated, which requires the acquisition of a range of basic data.

For more information please contact Philip Maul.

Physical Integrity of AGR Graphite Cores

Demonstrating the maintenance of the physical integrity of graphite cores in Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors (AGRs) is a critical part of the safety case for their operation. Quintessa is providing support to British Energy in a number of key areas associated with the development of defects in the graphite bricks as they age, including the use of advanced statistical methods for predictions of their evolution.

For more information please contact Philip Maul.

New Faces

Quintessa is pleased to welcome Alex Bond (left) and Alan Paulley (right). Alan trained in Chemical Physics and has recently contributed to the derivation and assessment of end points and strategies for NDA sites. Alex trained in Earth Sciences and Hydrogeology and has experience of the conceptualisation and numerical modelling of geological and hydrogeological systems, especially with regard to assessments of radioactively contaminated land at NDA sites.

The Dounreay Shaft and carbon dioxide storage images are the copyright of the UKAEA and IEA respectively and are reproduced by permission.