On Thursday 02 November In Manchester, UK, the nuclear diving team at Underwater Construction Corporation UK Ltd. was honored to receive the Highly Commended award for Best Technical Innovation to Benefit a Site License Company, presented at the annual Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Supply Chain Event.
The annual event is the largest networking gathering for Nuclear Decommissioning in Europe and this year brought more than 1600 visitors with an additional 300 vendors in the Exhibit Showcase.
The annual awards recognize the vital contribution of suppliers to the UK’s nuclear clean-up mission. The awards are open to suppliers of all sizes. This year’s five awards were organized into the categories of: Skills and Capacity Development, Technology Innovation Implementation, Collaboration, and Export, with the fifth award being the Ministers Award.
UCC UK Ltd was awarded recognition in the Technical Innovation Implementation with Tangible Benefits to an SLC category for using specialized nuclear divers in spent fuel ponds to disassemble, size reduce, and package for removal of underwater equipment and furniture. This also included the collection of sludge and debris prior to draining the pond in preparation for care and maintenance.
The technique is considered more efficient than traditional methods such as using remote tooling or remotely operated vehicles. The water acts as shielding, reducing doses accrued for the team. This approach was commissioned by Magnox at the Dungeness A site, with UCC performing a total of 265 safe dives in 2 ponds from late 2016 to 2017.
In a statement, UCC UK Ltd’s General Manager Philip McDermott, said:
“UCC UK Ltd is honored to be recognized with this award from the NDA. Nuclear Diving in the spent fuel ponds in support of decommissioning is a first-of-its-kind innovation here in the UK. The use of nuclear divers is a safe, proven, and repeatable program which saves radiation exposure and valuable schedule time. From these successes, we are looking forward to offering nuclear diving services for spent fuel pond decommissioning in other facilities both in the UK and Europe”
For more information on this and other awards at the annual NDA Estate Supply Chain Event, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/awards-recognise-supply-chain-excellence