Quintessa Update
December 2001

Welcome to the Christmas 2001 edition of Quintessa Update, the electronic newsletter of Quintessa Limited (www.quintessa.org).

The past year has seen a major expansion of Quintessa in terms of size and capabilities. Our latest recruit in the UK is James Penfold who brings a wealth of expertise in the assessment of health and environmental impacts from radioactivity, the appraisal of options for its management and the development of strategic solutions. Also we have recently welcomed Kenji Kawano and Yuji Aoyama to our Yokohama office (www.quintessa.co.jp).
Over the past year Quintessa staff have worked on a diverse set of projects for radioactive waste organisations in Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and international organisations including IAEA and NEA, applying scientific and technical understanding to identify the key issues and help point to solutions. These include:
  • Comparison of strategies and technologies in terms of health, safety, environmental, technical, social and cost issues.
  • Strategic planning advice and performance assessment for the restoration of a major nuclear site.
  • Review of safety assessments in Sweden, Finland and the USA.
  • Safety case support for re-authorisation of a LLW disposal facility.
  • Quantifiable impacts of reversibility and retrievability provisions.
  • Survey of monitoring technology.
  • Assessment of cement/concrete for repository sealing.
  • Development of waste package evolution scenarios.
  • Reference biospheres for HLW disposal.
  • Development of total system performance assessment code.
  • Development of training course material for near-surface disposal.
  • Effective presentation of performance assessments.
Moreover, 2001 has seen the formation of the Quintessa Geoscience Task Force (GTF) to provide expertise in geological site selection and characterisation and thus help assess the feasibility and safety of the underground disposal of radioactive waste. Also, in collaboration with BGS, we have started to apply ideas from radioactive waste disposal to the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide, which might help alleviate global warming.
Another exciting development over the past year has been the formation of a joint venture subsidiary company, alphaXML Limited specialising in providing consultancy and custom software services based around the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and related technologies to public and private organisations. We are particularly proud of the work of Paul Spencer and his team at alphaXML in support of UK Online that is being developed to allow citizens and businesses to interact with government departments and agencies and to facilitate more joined-up government via the web.
Finally, to all our friends around the world we wish a merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.