ESI has a very strong record of working with the nuclear industry to deliver practical solutions to the often complex problems posed. Recent announcements have been made by government regarding the development of new power stations in the UK and the preferred option to managing and using deep disposal for hazardous waste and spent fuel. Significant efforts are also currently being directed at decommissioning redundant nuclear sites in order to manage the UK’s nuclear liability.
ESI has completed a number of successful projects at the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) at Drigg and at the Sellafield site. Work at the LLWR has focussed on the Post Closure Radiological Safety Assessment, which is designed to demonstrate the long term safety of this disposal site. Work at Sellafield has centred around characterisation studies into the in-ground contamination. ESI has a strong track record of working with major engineering companies and providing specialist hydrogeological and risk assessment services. ESI staff are able to integrate into the large engineering teams required and to liaise with the many specialists required by these projects.
We offer the following services that support current decommissioning, waste disposal and safety case activities required by the nuclear industry.
- Contaminant transport modelling
- Radioactive waste disposal consultancy
- Environmental data management
- Flood risk assessment and management
Nuclear Consultancy Team
ESI offers an industry leading team of nuclear waste management specialists with many years of experience in the interpretation and modelling of the geosphere and far field barrier for deep geological disposal of nuclear waste. ESI’s team has particular expertise in site characterisation and investigation methodology, and in predictive modelling of radionuclide migration through the far field barrier. We are able to represent coupled processes and detailed representation of heterogeneity, and also to develop the detailed models underpinning the post closure safety assessment probabilistic risk modelling. This capability and experience can equally be applied to operational and decommissioning nuclear markets.
Mr Robert Sears
BSc MSc CGeol
Mr Sears worked for British Nuclear Fuels plc. (BNFL) from 1990 to 1999. During this time he worked within a team whose responsibilities included undertaking contamination studies and associated risk modelling for the Sellafield and Low Level Waste Disposal site near Drigg.Mr Sears developed a MODFLOW model to simulate groundwater conditions at Sellafield in order to help understand the relationship between groundwater and surface water and potential contamination transport routes.
Mr Sears also worked on the Drigg Site Characterisation Project where he was responsible for the installation of over 60 groundwater monitoring wells and the necessary infrastructure and systems to undertake routine monitoring from these wells. Using the data from these, and other, locations he was responsible for developing the conceptual understanding of groundwater flow and contaminant transport from the disposal trenches and vaults. This work formed part of the safety case put forward by BNFL to demonstrate the long term safety of the facility and ensure its continuing operation.
Nuclear waste disposal, contaminated land characterisation and environmental data management systems
Mr Gordon has spent over 10 years working within the nuclear industry. During this time he worked as part of the team responsible for the operational and post closure safety cases to support the disposal of nuclear waste at the Low Level Waste Repository near Drigg in Cumbria. He was the site characterisation area manager and was responsible for the development of the conceptual site model of groundwater flow and contaminant migration required to underpin the safety cases. During this time, Mr Gordon had a liaison role with the technical team leading the Nirex Quaternary Characterisation programme.
Mr Gordon has also provided input to a wide range of other projects involving nuclear waste and contaminated land assessments in support of construction and decommissioning projects at the Sellafield site in Cumbria. These included the design and supervision of site investigations; interpretation and analysis of data; development of conceptual models and regulatory liaison.
Mr Gordon also has particular expertise in data management and information technically system design and implementation. He was responsible for the technical development and management of a project that designed and implemented a web browser based mapping system which held and reported data relevant to the assessment of radiological and chemically contaminated land on 11 former and operating nuclear power generation sites. Mr Gordon has also undertaken a project tasked within providing support to the operational data management requirements of an environmental monitoring programme undertaken by Sellafield Ltd along the beach foreshore areas on the west Cumbrian coast.
BSc MSc CGeol FGS
Nuclear Waste industry site characterisation and modelling
Mike Streetly has very strong numerical skills and a successful track record in groundwater modelling and borehole test interpretation. He was extensively involved in the Nirex Investigations in West Cumbria in the mid-late 1990s, focussing particularly on using borehole information to derive appropriate formation parameters for groundwater models. He has subsequently published several papers on this work.
Since that time Mike has pursued a career in consultancy with a particular focus on groundwater modelling: he has been the technical lead on a large number of major groundwater modelling projects for the Environment Agency and various water companies and has more recently been used as an external, expert reviewer on several modelling projects for the Environment Agency.
At ESI he has also been responsible for the delivery of the company’s training and software business which builds on his remit to ensure that the company remains at the cutting edge of new developments in groundwater modelling.
He has a high profile within the UK hydrogeological community through serving on the Hydrogeology Group of the Geological Society and as Assistant Editor (Hydrogeology) for the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology.
Dr Alan Herbert
MA PhD CASM FGS
Nuclear Waste industry model development and comparison
During his early career Dr Herbert was involved in the development and verification of numerical modelling tools to represent the geosphere barrier for nuclear waste repository programmes. This involved development of theUK’s main geosphere modelling tools NAMMU and NAPSAC and also the comparison of these against other national modelling tools and programmes. He undertook international reviews of the German and Scandinavian geosphere modelling and was appointed to the Swedish SKI Project 90 review panel.
Dr Herbert led the modelling of the OECD/NEA Stripa project and played a leading role in the Nirex geosphere modelling and hydrogeological interpretation teams. He authored the fracture network modelling chapter of the book on coupled processes as part of the DECOVALEX project, more recently he has been project director for the BNF conceptual model development for the Drigg facility and worked on the development of geosphere modelling at Drigg to update models to use the additional flexibility for complex geometry and coupled processes available in FEFLOW. Alan has recently been involved with providing a technical review of coupled hydrogeological processes and unsaturated zone modelling for the US nuclear waste programme and expert advice to the NDA geosphere programme.