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Radioactive Waste Management

Helping to define and implement the UK strategy

One of the most important challenges in the nuclear industry is what to do with nuclear waste. It must be managed in ways that protect human health and minimise the environmental impact. For nuclear sites all waste is regulated but optimising nuclear waste management from the early stages is key for an effective, cost-efficient process.

WHY CHOOSE TÜV SÜD TO HELP DEFINE AND IMPLEMENT YOUR UK RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY?

TÜV SÜD's in-house knowledge of wastes, treatment technologies, compliance requirements for delivery, and communication to stakeholders means that we can efficiently deliver value to project and programme teams.

We can bring together our comprehensive knowledge of site operations, decommissioning and waste requirements, environmental and safety compliance and stakeholder awareness in order to support the client with robust decision making. TÜV SÜD provides high calibre technical staff supplemented by a range of tools based on a “Waste Led” philosophy that aids the identification and understanding of the technical risks of a project.

TÜV SÜD'S RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT SERVICES INCLUDE:

WASTE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

Over many years TÜV SÜD have become a trusted partner to Site Licence Companies (SLCs) in the development and underpinning of compliant waste management strategies. We add value by our understanding of the technical issues and the ability to quickly and efficiently identify the underpinning work required to deliver complex and challenging projects.

We bring together our comprehensive knowledge of site operations, decommissioning and waste requirements, environmental and safety compliance and stakeholder awareness in order to support the client with robust decision making and enabling innovation.

Many of TÜV SÜD's staff have undertaken roles in client organisations where they are responsible for reviewing safety or environmental case documentation either independently or as part of a project sanctioning committee. Having high calibre technical staff is supplemented by a range of tools based on a “Waste Led” philosophy that aid the identification and understanding of the technical risks of a project. Furthermore, these tools can be used to remove uncertainty and focus work on what is actually needed. “Waste Led”, however, is equally applicable to Fuel and Nuclear Materials and encompasses Decommissioning as a step in the project lifecycle.

The tools used are:

  • Process Wiring Diagrams (PWD) with associated R&D Tables which can be dynamically linked to provide a readily updateable data set.
  • Data Quality Objectives (DQO) processes
    • R&D Identification
    • Strategy Development Tool
    • Decision Logic Diagrams
  • Technology Roadmaps
  • Technology / Process Maturity Assessment

Each tool can be undertaken independently, however, an integrated approach ensures a robustly underpinned strategy that is readily defensible.
TÜV SÜD has applied its Waste Led philosophy to several subjects and with most clients across the nuclear industry.

RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES REGULATIONS COMPLIANCE AND SITE LICENSING

TÜV SÜD has extensive experience in successfully supporting site licensees in their applications for discharge authorisations/permits under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 and Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (EA(S)R ) and their legislative predecessor RSA 93. The authorisations/permits are periodically reviewed by the regulator and TÜV SÜD has provided support to a range of licensees including input to the new nuclear build programme. The services we offer include:

  • Gap Analysis to identify the work required to attain an Environmental Permit.
  • Preparation of initial environmental permit applications and progressively building appropriate company processes and capability for compliance
  • Completion of Draft Definition and Justification Document
  • Completion of final environmental permit application documentation
  • Independent review and inspection of new build operator’s EP-RSR permit and supporting management arrangements

We also have expertise in supporting Nuclear Site Licence Applications and combined teams can be assembled to provide consistency reviews of the EP-RSR application and Nuclear Site Licence Application and supporting information.

DQO (DATA QUALITY OBJECTIVES)

The origins of DQO are from the US EPA on contaminated land sampling, however, TÜV SÜD have been utilising its principles since 2008 and pioneered its use in higher activity waste projects in the UK. This was specifically to ensure a logical development of planning in the collection and management of underpinning data required for waste process management and technology development.

Techniques we have used include facilitation and technical input into functional requirement workshops to fully understand the functions that each step in a process must provide from a waste management, environmental or safety perspective. These workshops can then be used to define relevant piece of research, trials or even gaps in knowledge to underpin each process step.

Supplementary tools include production of decision logic diagrams, created to ensure that any underpinning data requirements (trials) identified previously (perhaps from a Functional Requirements Workshop ) could be validated and any additional requirements identified captured.

Once trials are in progress there may be additional or subsequent requirements identified however the DQO process could be iterated to ensure continuous capture of data needs. The data logic process is a systematic process that ensures all relevant underpinning trials can be identified and assist in the removal of nugatory work from the programme.

The DQO process follows a seven-step systematic approach, where one, several or all steps may be reconsidered as new information becomes available. Therefore, DQO logic diagrams could be revisited through the task’s lifecycle as new information on the problems studied arose.

Our approach has successfully helped clients in their decision making process and to expedite efficient delivery of critical path activities.

WASTE COMPLIANCE ASSESSMENTS

TÜV SÜD provides an extensive range of services, relating to the production and management of Letter of Compliance (LoC) submissions and their review. These are required to ensure that when waste is packaged by waste producers it is in a form which is suitable for safe storage, transport, handling and potential disposal. We also assist in the development of future waste management strategies including the provision of advice on RWM requirements. Over several years we have had a number of staff seconded into client organisations and RWM itself supporting the production of LoC documentation.

Our services include:

  • The assessment of waste packaging submissions from waste producers.
  • Production of Guidance Notes

Examples of our work for waste producers and site licensees:

  • Facilitating formal discussions on waste packaging proposals.
  • Gathering data required to support the production of waste packaging submissions (e.g. waste inventory studies).
  • Preparing formal waste packaging submission documents.
  • Managing client interactions during the assessment of LoC submissions.
  • Preparing formal LoC submission documents.

PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTATION IN SUPPORT OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL TRANSPORT SUBMISSIONS

TÜV SÜD has many years' experience in production and assessment of documentation for the handling, storage and transport of radiological materials.
We have detailed knowledge of IAEA Transport Regulations, have been involved in developing Waste Package Specifications and have undertaken Transport Package Safety Assessments on behalf of UK clients.

Additionally, TÜV SÜD Nuclear Technologies are supported by its Parent organisation TÜV SÜD, who have extensive experience preparing Transport Package Design Safety Reports for Competent Authority Approval in Germany. This has included assessments of:

  • Heat removal, tightness and integrity
  • Incident studies e.g. aircraft crash
  • Impact, thermal and structural analyses of packages
  • Impact evaluation of impact drop heights

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