LLW Repository Ltd provides customers with a range of services to safely and efficiently manage low level radioactive waste. Operations of both the company and the UK’s national Low Level Waste Repository are managed on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) by UK Nuclear Waste Management Ltd, a consortium of nuclear expertise of AECOM, Studsvik and Orano.
LLWR is the UK’s only dedicated facility for the disposal of low level radioactive waste and has operated safely since 1959. Low Level Waste (LLW) mainly arises from the nuclear industry, power generation, and decommissioning activities, but it is also created by research, healthcare, defence, and the oil and gas industries. LLW is typically comprised of materials used in a radioactive operating environment such as paper, cardboard, plastic, protective clothing, soil, rubble, and metal. The waste is containerised for transport to the site by either rail or road. Wherever possible, LLW is treated and/or compacted to reduce the final disposal volume and upon arrival at LLWR, the containers are grouted prior to emplacement in engineered concrete vaults.
LLWR was the first nuclear licensed site to go through the NDA's competition process. UK Nuclear Waste Management Ltd. (UKNWM) won the contract to manage the day-to-day activities of the site and partner with the NDA with the development of a National Low Level Waste Strategy. Implementation of an integrated LLW programme throughout the UK is one of a number of key projects currently underway at the Repository.
Other key projects include:
- Construction of Vault 9 - provides essential additional capacity for the management of Low Level Waste. July 2009 achieved a major milestone when the “island slab” was handed over to LLWR this solved the short term capacity gap for storage of LLW.
- Production of Environmental Safety Case - in support of current operations and making the case for continued operations at the repository.
- Innovations - consideration of a number of waste treatment initiatives that either reduce waste arisings or provide alternative disposal routes thus preserving a valuable national asset for generations to come.
- Metallic Waste Treatment - September 2009 achieved another milestone by sending our first shipment of metal waste to Studsvik MRF at Lillyhall by Rail via the Port of Workington.