Welcome to the Christmas 2006 edition of Quintessa Update, the electronic newsletter of Quintessa Limited

Post-closure safety assessment for OPG LILW repository
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is proposing to build a Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for Low and Intermediate Level Waste (LILW) near the existing Western Waste Management Facility at the Bruce Site in Ontario. A partnership led by Quintessa Limited, and incorporating Intera Engineering Limited and SENES Consultants Limited, has been awarded a contract to conduct the post-closure safety assessment for the DGR. The work will build upon the preliminary safety assessment conducted by Quintessa in 2003. Please contact Helen Leung at OPG or Richard Little at Quintessa for further details.

Nuclear Site End States
Decommissioning and clean-up activities at UK nuclear sites are programmed to achieve a target "End State" for the physical condition at the time those works are complete. Definition of the anticipated End State therefore plays a fundamental role in defining strategic planning for site restoration. The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA) has asked the Site Stakeholder Groups (SSGs) associated with each of its sites to review possible End States, and to return with recommendations by the end of March 2007. The intention is that there should be a transparent approach to End State definition, based on inputs from local communities and their representatives. In a parallel process, Site Licence Companies (SLCs) are being required by NDA to provide an analysis of key issues affecting the choice of a preferred End State. Quintessa (with support from Faulkland Associates and URS Corporation) has been engaged to assist SSGs in developing End State recommendations for three of NDA's sites - Dounreay and Chapelcross in Scotland and the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) near Drigg in England (the latter in collaboration with Nexia Solutions). The work draws on our expertise in supporting the development of strategic plans for managing contaminated land, radioactive wastes and other environmental hazards. In particular, Quintessa is using its extensive experience from conducting BPEO studies to ensure a systematic and clear analysis of End State options, based on a broad range of participation. At the time of writing, Quintessa is working with the SSG and relevant SLC at each of the above sites to provide the required support and input to the process. In each case, this involves adopting a BPEO approach, tailored to the needs of each site, and encompasses the development and application of stakeholder engagement strategies, workshop facilitation and the compilation of detailed supporting technical information. For more information, please contact James Penfold

Slovenian LILW Management

Quintessa, with the support of consortium partners SCK•CEN, Belgatom and the Josef Stefan Institute , has just completed a contract under the European Commission's PHARE nuclear safety programme to provide assistance in the development of conceptual design for the LILW repository programme in Slovenia. The programme is under the supervision of Agencija za radioaktivne odpadke ( ARAO ), the Slovenian Agency for Radioactive Waste Management. The project assessed the inventory of low and intermediate level radioactive waste and considered the implications of Waste Acceptance Criteria for the conditioning and packaging of wastes, together with how this could affect the choice of a preferred siting and disposal concept.

The work has been undertaken in parallel with ARAO's existing programme on repository siting, design and development, and the outcome is being used to inform discussions between ARAO, the Slovenian government and regulatory authorities. Information has also been gathered on inventory and current waste management practices from ARAO and by working with the staff from the Krško nuclear power plant and the operators of the research reactor at Brinje.

Quintessa is part of the CO2ReMoVe consortium of leading energy industrial companies, research organizations and the European Union that is carrying out research into the long-term potential for carbon capture and storage. The objectives of the project are to prove the long-term reliability of geological storage of CO2, and to undertake the research and development necessary to establish scientifically-based standards for monitoring future CCS operations. Quintessa is the only SME participating in CO2ReMoVe and is participating in sub-project 2, which is concerned with performance assessment and mitigation. Please contact Richard Metcalfe for further details.

AMBER Version 5
Version 5 of the AMBER compartment modelling tool has recently been released. This extends AMBER's capabilities and incorporates many useful new features, including extending the availability concept for transfers to enable processes like irreversible sorption to be represented. In addition to the new technical features, the graphical user interface has been fully upgraded and the user documentation integrated and updated. The AMBER 5 upgrade is available free to all AMBER users with existing maintenance and support agreements. Those without AMBER agreements can try the new version by downloading a copy of the free demo. If you have any questions about AMBER and its application, please contact Russell Walke.

Visit by Thana Karupiah of the Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research
Quintessa was pleased to host Thana Karupiah from the Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research ( MINT) for a one month fellowship in the summer. The purpose of the fellowship, which was supported by the IAEA and British Council, was to learn about the process of assessing the safety of near-surface disposal facilities for low and intermediate level radioactive waste. Please contact Russell Walke for further details.

Merry Christmas!
Wishing all our friends around the world a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.