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This SAFESPUR Christmas event provided an informal networking evening for delegates to share information in a relaxed environment.
The event was hosted by Hammonds LLP and featured topical presentations on:
Presentations download (pdf)
This SAFESPUR event focuses on the application of innovative technologies for the
treatment and management of legacy waste, storage, disposal as well as interlinked decommissioning activities and site remediation.
Speakers included NDA, Sellafield Ltd, DIAMOND and Impact Services Inc. There was also the opportunity to hear from a winner based on BBC Two's Dragon's Den competition style on his "ice pigging" technique.
The event was kindly hosted by NSG Environmental Ltd and features a site tour of their new nuclear waste management development facilities.
This popular event attracted over 40 delegates to hear and discuss case study examples of remediation on nuclear sites. Examples included a CL:AIRE demonstration project and the decision making process required for remediating on the Dounreay site.
Delegates also to listened to the differences in the regulatory regime for non-radiological and radiological contamination and useful good practice guidance documents when undertaking risk assessment including the CLR11 model procedures.
This event attracted over 35 delegates to Birchwood park in Warrington, where delegates listen to the challenges in managing and disposing of low level waste, especially as the main consignors of nuclear and defence sites are to protect people and safeguard the environment.
Chuck Conway from the low level waste repository in Cumbria spoke about some of the ongoing work and plans for future LLW disposal capacity. The show case session illustrated two examples of how radioactive waste can be successfully managed. Delegates were also able to visually see how radioactive materials are practically assessed and quantified in the tour of AMEC's NIRAS laboratory.
Over the past decade the overall skill base within the nuclear industry has declined significantly. The nuclear industry has been thorough a series of major changes over the last 20 years, subsequently affecting the overall skill base and effective management of knowledge.
This workshop provided delegates the opportunity to hear the lastest updates in the nuclear skills sector including the NDA and National Skills Academy for Nuclear.
This event will examine the implications of legal issues relating to both radioactive and non-radioactive contaminations for different types of sites. It will provide an opportunity for clients, consultants, contractors, local authorities, radiation protections advisors, regulators and those involved in site remediation activities.
The technology showcase will enable delegates to hear the different approaches that the industry has commonly applied to deal with radioactive contaminants and non-radioactive contaminants.
Delegates who attended this event were able to learn about innovative approaches to apply to decommissioning projects and understand how research is developing in this area. This event featured a soap box session where delegates gained an insight into some of the new technologies that are being developed.
The event also addressed some of the potential and actual barriers to implementing new technology in decommissioning.
Soap box session presentations
NUVIA l Studsvik l Environment Agencies Requirements Working Group (EARWG)
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) presented their prioritised strategy for decommissioning and clean-up, whereby Sellafield and Dounreay have been identified as priority sites. Delegates were able to understand that for defence sites, a network of management contracts has been established covering both operational sites, such as AWE, and those sites being decommissioned.
This meeting gave the delegates an opportunity to hear from the decommissioning and clean-up strategies and opportunities within current projects. Speakers included NDA, Magnox north and AWE.
Currently DEFRA is undertaking a review of the exemption orders for radioactive substances. These orders provide either conditional or unconditional exemption from the authorisation or registration requirements of the Radioactive Substances Act ('93) either for certain substances or for certain uses.
Although there are 19 such existing exemption orders, there are two that are particularly relevant to the management of contaminated land and decommissioning wastes. These are the Substances of Low Activity (SOLA) exemption order and the Phosphatic Substances, Rare Earths etc (PSRE) exemption order.
This meeting provided delegates the opportunity to comment on the exemption order options considering the practicalities on their projects. Speakers will include Defra, Environment Agency and a representative of the Clearance and Exemptions Working Group (CEWG).
This workshop was designed to communicate the key technical, regulatory and organisational developments on the SAFEGROUNDS guidance documents. It provided insights into the key issues being debated by the site owners, operators regulators and NGOs.
There were two facilitated discussion sessions enabling delegates to contribute towards the Site Characterisation or Options Comparison document. Captured lessons gained from the experience of the SAFESPUR members will be considered in the revision of the guidance.
In the UK there is a move towards making safety assessments, safety cases and regulatory reviews for new nuclear facilities more widely available to stakeholders, particularly those for new radioactive waste disposal facilities. This workshop enabled members to engage into presentations from the NDA, Environmental Agency, Risk Management Solutions and Faulkland Associates, which is now available below. A facilitated discussion provided an opportunity for delegates to discuss the drivers, challenges and mechanisms for successful communication in this context.
This workshop explored the commercial opportunities of partnering with overseas organisations with a particular focus on addressing skills gaps. By attending members were able to equip their company to develop strategies to overcome skills shortages and to gain insights into working with overseas companies.
The intention was to have an informal networking evening to enable participants to share information in a relaxed atmosphere and to introduce a few non-members to the Forum. The event was held in Ashurst's impressive conference room in the City of London. (The legal firm are SAFESPUR members and they kindly provided the facilities free of charge.) An icebreaker exercise, together with free-flowing chilled beer and wine, resulted in each delegate making contact with all the others. There was then an informative presentation by AWE's Colin Hunt on the implementation of the Clearance & Exemptions Working Group (C&EWG) Code of Practice (CoP).
The CoP, which has now being adopted by all UK nuclear operators, was developed to provide a common approach to the difficult process of clearance and exemption. Colin highlighted the business benefits of incorporating the CoP in site practices and discussed the CEWG's approach to its development (inc. widening interactions with stakeholders and reviewing content in light of policy and regulatory changes). CIRIA then provided an update on the work of the SAFEGROUNDS and SD:SPUR Learning Networks, outlined the next SAFESPUR event (on international skills) and described its forthcoming nuclear conference. As a result of the event a number of new companies indicated their intentions to join the Forum.
For more information on the C&EWG please click here.
The NDA outlined the current status of the decommissioning market at its sites, summarised its approach to procurement and competition and discussed the scale and nature of its funding. A key message was that the NDA focuses on results, rather than specifying the solutions to be used at every site. We then heard about the recent experiences of tier 2 contractors in market.
A number of specific issues from those bidding for work were identified and messages were passed to the NDA about how these could be resolved. The facilitated discussions covered questions of how clients could improve their procurement processes and how contractors could respond to changes in the decommissioning market. This was an extremely timely and useful event that delegates wanted to follow up.
The aims were to understand the context, content and practical implications
of the proposed new LLW policy and to identify key messages to Defra and the
devolved administrations (in time for them to be taken into account as the
policy was finalised). We heard from Defra on the proposed policy’s
three primary principles* and how it was intended to be a high level framework
that would enable others such as the NDA to provide the LLW management facilities
and routes that would be required. SD:SPUR then explained how its guidance
promoted the application of the waste hierarchy in a proportionate and risk-informed
way. A note summarising the workshop's facilitated discussions was sent
to Defra following the event. Feedback received from the members was very
* flexibility, a risk-informed approach and minimisation of arisings
The event gave impetus and direction to the new forum. Participants wanted to support a healthy and competitive contracting market, reduce costs and timescales and overcome the industry's historically-rooted reluctance to share technical innovation. Benefits of the forum were identified as networking, gaining rapid updates on policies and sharing knowledge on regulations, research and technologies.
It would help suppliers influence standards and hold discussions with clients about topics of concern. Members could also enjoy the benefits of the new website as a showcase for their skills and expertise. The SAFESPUR team* delivered a successful inaugural event that the 50 or so participants found to be both useful and enjoyable.
* Andy Thomas (chairman), Mark Hannan (advisor), Rhuari Bennett (independent facilitator), Marion Hill (note writer), Mark Bentley, Jo Facer and Jeff Kersey (CIRIA managers)
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