During Tube Store retrieval operations at its Harwell site, Magnox became aware of accumulations of contaminated water residing in some of the tubes, which needed to be removed with the existing retrieval machine and on site waste disposal processes. This was a complex and programme critical project that required an innovative solution and ideally combined recovery and disposal treatment in a single step.
Working with NSG Environmental on this NDA award-winning project, Rutpen developed a number of different shaped and sized perforated bags to hold a water-absorbing material, in combination with a rapid setting compound, which ensured that only solid waste was removed from the tubes. After trials to ascertain the effectiveness of the different bags, Rutpen manufactured and supplied the product, turning it from a laboratory test to a commercial solution.
The innovative device for the retrieval and immobilisation of active water has become a commercially successful product with ongoing usage and applications at other sites. Since 2014, several thousand bags have been successfully deployed and processed and this has led to savings of several million pounds.
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