Jacobs Selected by Radioactive Waste Management Ltd to Study Radioactivity in Graphite Nuclear Reactor Cores

Jacobs was selected by Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM), a subsidiary of the U.K. Government's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, to study the release of radioactivity from irradiated graphite sampled from reactor cores at the U.K.'s nuclear power stations. This research will support RWM in their analysis of graphite behavior and the options for graphite waste management in the future.

"We're combining our leading graphite knowledge from our Integrated Waste Management team at Harwell, our role as designer and architect engineer of the Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) and Magnox reactors, and our work on operational support and life extension," said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions Senior Vice President Clive White. "Our Technology and Innovation Centre at Birchwood Park, Warrington, is applying this graphite knowledge to work through options for safe and timely characterization, retrieval, treatment and storage solutions to meet the growing global decommissioning market."  

RWM has commissioned Jacobs to measure and characterize releases of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 and compare it with releases from irradiated graphite in earlier reactor types, including the U.K.'s first generation of Magnox civil nuclear power stations.

This research will have a significant bearing on the safe management and disposal of graphite wastes arising from the decommissioning of 14 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR), which generate nearly 20% of the country's electricity but are due to be phased out over the next 10 years.

The contract has an initial duration of two years. Subject to experimental program results, it may be extended by an additional two years.

Source: Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
Date: May 12, 2020