Tag Archives: Nuclear

Beth And Gill Land Top Nuclear Industry Honours

Two members of LLWR Ltd's talented workforce have picked up nuclear industry awards on the national stage

Beth McKee accepting the award for the Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network Excellence Prize

Beth McKee accepting the award for the Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network Excellence Prize

Former LLWR apprentice Beth McKee has won the Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network (YGN) Excellence Prize and her colleague, Gill Hale, has landed the prestigious Walker Award, ahead of competition from across the NDA estate.

Project Controls Technician Beth, who joined LLWR almost 4 years ago, knew she had been shortlisted but did not expect to pick up her award at a special dinner in Leeds. The 22-year old was rewarded for organising a number of talks for YGN members with senior members of the nuclear industry. She said:

I was more shocked than anything, but I was chuffed.

I had been pleased just to be nominated. I’m told other companies are now tagging on to our idea and organising their own events.

The YGN is the young members’ branch of the Nuclear Institute and currently consists of over 660 members, providing a platform for networking, education and career development.

Gill was nominated for her honour by her boss Tom Crowe, LLWR’s Head of Procurement, who had been impressed with her work on the Business Services Marketplace (BSM), a dynamic way of purchasing that levels the playing field for small and local businesses, making it easier for smaller enterprises to interact directly with organisations in the NDA estate.

Gill missed the award ceremony in Manchester, where the prize was presented, due to a prior commitment so colleague Victoria Kay accepted it on her behalf. Gill said:

I would have liked to be there, as it was a really high-profile award, but it wasn’t to be.

Victoria has supported me on BSM, so it was a team effort. BSM has been a success, and the award is recognition of all the hard work that has gone into it.

DRS Braves The Beast From The East

As the UK faced extreme weather conditions, Direct Rail Services joined Network Rail to help keep the nation moving by clearing snow from train lines

Network Rail

Network Rail

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s specialist rail freight subsidiary was kept extremely busy keeping its locomotives running in the atrocious weather conditions that swept the nation at the start of March.

DRS’ Commercial Director, Beverley Stothart, said:

Providing support to Network Rail in keeping the UK’s train services running is already an important part of our work, but when we face such a severe spell of weather, that threatens to disrupt the UK’s infrastructure, it’s even more important that we get DRS services out to help keep the lines open so the train services that we rely on can get back to normal.

The DRS loco’s were deployed in support of Network Rail’s efforts to return the rail network to normal, patrolling important routes to keep them open and driving snow ploughs to battle through the many drifts that ‘The Beast from the East’ brought with it.

The severe snow and record-breaking low temperatures resulted in massive disruption to the rail network and train services all over the UK, in particular across Scotland.

Large parts of the busy rail network were unavailable for train services and, without clearing snow from the network, it would have been impossible for normal rail services to restart on key routes.

Record-Breaking Turbines Leave Wylfa

The last working Rolls-Royce Proteus Gas Turbines anywhere in the world are set to leave the former Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey

The last remaining Proteus Gas Turbines in use anywhere in the world were stood down on 20 January 2018 after 47 years of faithful service

The last remaining Proteus Gas Turbines in use anywhere in the world were stood down on 20 January 2018 after 47 years of faithful service

Wylfa is seeking a new home for 5 ageing back-up generators whose illustrious cousin, the Rolls-Royce Proteus Gas Turbine Generator, famously powered Donald Campbell’s Bluebird CN7 as it smashed the world land speed record in 1964.

The first 4 generators, each capable of 3MW output, provided essential standby electricity in the event that normal supplies were lost.

In 1983, a fifth Proteus turbine was installed to provide additional power to Wylfa’s Secondary Dry Store Cells, used to hold spent nuclear fuel after being removed from the reactors.

They were believed to be the last remaining Proteus Gas Turbines in use anywhere in the world but, after 47 years of faithful service, they were stood down on 20 January 2018.

When electricity generation at Wylfa ended in 2015 the site’s Electrical Overlay System was capable of providing back-up electricity supplies and there was no further need for the gas turbines.

The Proteus engine has a distinguished history: having seen naval service in fast torpedo boats, powered the Bluebird CN7 car used by Donald Campbell to break the world land speed record in 1964, powered cross-channel hovercraft until 2000 and provided essential supplies to Magnox’s Oldbury Power Station in Gloucestershire.

The gas turbines will be disconnected and all potential hazards removed, such as oils and batteries, before the asset disposals team sets about finding them a new home.

Liquid Waste Made Safe

Work has started to make one of the most hazardous materials left at Dounreay safer

A project is underway to reduce the risk by filling more than 30 drums with 15,000 litres of solid waste

A project is underway to reduce the risk by filling more than 30 drums with 15,000 litres of solid waste

Highly radioactive liquid, known as raffinate, has been stored in tanks for around 20 years after being produced as a by-product of Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) fuel reprocessing.

A project is underway to reduce the risk by filling more than 30 drums with 15,000 litres of solid waste as part of an initial commissioning process.

Project Manager, Stuart Andrew, explained:

One of the reasons that this material is so hazardous is because it is in a mobile, liquid form.

We are taking an exact amount of liquid waste from each tank to create a consistent blend. It is then mixed with cement, pulverised fuel ash and lime powders to create a stable solid waste package.

Waste Director Sam Usher added:

This is probably our highest single remaining hazard at Dounreay. Safely and compliantly creating the first solid waste drums is a huge achievement for the team and a major step forward as we deal with the site’s legacy hazards.

It has taken almost 2 years to modify the plant and equipment which was previously used to process more than 230m³ of Dounreay Fast Reactor raffinate.

Up to 100 drums are expected to be produced in the next few months, as part of the first phase of this programme, with all PFR raffinate expected to have been processed within the next 5 years.

Mark Raffle, Lead Programme Manager from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said:

Immobilisation of this highly radioactive liquid will be a significant step towards reducing the remaining hazards at Dounreay.

Completion of this work will enable decommissioning of the major facility where the material is currently stored, moving the site closer towards its interim end state.

Suppliers are being asked to express their interest in a contract to construct an extension to the facility where the waste packages will be stored – in accordance with the Scottish Government’s higher activity radioactive waste policy. The multi-million pound project is expected to begin later this year.

NDA Shows Off Its Expertise On The World Stage

Experts from around the globe heard about the NDA's commercial opportunities from Dr Adrian Simper, Strategy and Technology Director

NDA shows off its expertise on the world stage

NDA shows off its expertise on the world stage

Addressing hundreds of delegates at the 2018 Civil Nuclear Showcase, Dr Simper told the audience that “all aspects of the NDA’s experience is commercially available”.

Run by the UK’s Department of International Trade, the event promotes opportunities for international collaboration across all areas of the nuclear sector.

Dr Simper highlighted the progress being made in decommissioning and hazard reduction at the NDA’s 17 nuclear sites across the UK, including:

  • the removal of waste from the oldest and most challenging plants at the Sellafield site in West Cumbria
  • the removal of almost all of the spent nuclear fuel from the Magnox nuclear reactors
  • innovative technology being used to safely carry out decommissioning work in a variety of challenging and hazardous environments

Dr Simper said:

The UK nuclear industry leads the world in many areas of its work to decommission and clean up the legacy from the earliest days of the civil nuclear legacy, even though we have different reactor types, our waste management, decommissioning and spent fuel management capabilities are very applicable to Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China and other markets.

We are eager to work with international suppliers and industry colleagues, maximising the benefit of our learning and experience.

The event provides an opportunity to network with a diverse mix of senior international and UK delegates representing government, utilities, technology providers, major contracting companies and all tiers of the supply chain.

Recently, technology that was developed through NDA funding was used to measure radiation levels in the damaged Fukushima reactors. The RISER drone carries a sophisticated radiation detection and mapping system which was originally used to examine conditions in the remaining Windscale Pile chimney at Sellafield.

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