Waste management is a core consideration across all industries, and especially important for those involving radioactive and hazardous wastes. Ideally, planning an optimised waste management life-cycle should begin prior to construction and operation of the facilities that will lead to generation of waste, and this is the standard approach for modern plant. For legacy facilities however, the starting point for decision-making may be at the point of decommissioning planning, and there may be uncertainties concerning the physical nature and inventory of the wastes that will be generated. In such cases, dealing with those uncertainties is an important aspect of the development of waste management strategy.
Quintessa supports clients in decision-making across all aspects of the radioactive waste management life-cycle. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, as each decision is different. However, core principles such as those embodied in the Radioactive Waste Management Hierarchy and reflected in regulatory and best practice guidance, including the importance of appropriate and effective stakeholder engagement, provide a common framework for waste management decision making.
A key point is that our expertise in best-practice options assessment approaches is combined with knowledge of waste management issues, allowing us to ensure the outcomes of such studies represent the best possible value to our clients. Expertise ranges from knowledge of waste treatment technology options, and assessment of the environmental impacts associated with treatment strategies, through to long-term disposal requirements. For example, Quintessa staff have recently provided important support for several BAT studies for a range of high-hazard decommissioning wastes from legacy facilities at Sellafield.
For further details of our capabilities relevant to the waste management life-cycle, please see also the decision support, decommissioning, site restoration, near-surface-disposal and geological disposal pages.