Decommissioning, Immobilisation and Storage
soluTIons for NuClear wasTe InVEntories

Legacy Ponds and Silo Wastes

DISTINCTIVE is a multi-disciplinary collaboration of 10 universities and 3 key industry partners from across the UK’s civil nuclear sector. 

Legacy Ponds and Silo Wastes

Legacy Ponds and Silo Wastes

This theme addresses the clean-up of the UK’s biggest safety and security threat; the Sellafield legacy ponds and silos (LP&S).  The LP&S care and maintenance programme currently costs the UK tax payer approximately £70 million per yearto maintain their basic condition.


Work Packages

  • Wasteform durability
  • Effluent treatment and analysis
  • Pond and silo sludges

Theme Objectives

  • Durability of heterogeneous glass-ceramic wasteforms.
  • Improved radionuclide removal from effluents – using novel ion exchange and binding super-paramagnetic nanoparticles.
  • New ultra-filtration methods for fine particle removal from effluents.
  • 3D modelling & simulation of sludge mobilisation and transport.
  • Retention of gas (hold-up) generated within Magnox sludges.
  • Techniques for in situ remote monitoring of sludges and waste ponds.


Characterisation of flocculated waste suspensions with acoustic backscatter

A PhD project is proposed to extend ‘measurement and modelling’ work, at the University of Leeds, into the use of acoustic backscatter as a method to characterise complex flocculated waste suspensions…

Computational simulations of storage pond sludge disturbance

This PhD-level project will focus on the atomistic modelling of storage pond liquor in the immediate aftermath of sludge disturbance…

Development of Raman Spectroscopy techniques for the remote analysis of nuclear wastes in storage.

The project will build on Bristol expertise in developing fibre optic probes for the remote collection of Raman and fluorescence spectra in medical and aerospace applications. We will extend this technology to develop probes for the characterisation of materials…

Durability of Heterogeneous ILW Glass/Ceramic Wasteforms from Complex Wastestreams

Building on previous surrogate trials using thermal methods such as plasma vitrification and joule heated in-can vitrification this project will aim to understand the corrosion mechanisms in the resulting heterogeneous wasteforms…

Enhanced shear micro- and ultra-filtration without recycle pumping

During the processes of ultra- and micro-filtration shear is normally generated at the surface of the membrane by rapid recycle pumping of the suspension…

Gas Hold-Up in Sludges

Hydrogen gas retention in nuclear waste sludge is of interest on many nuclear licensed sites. The risk of hydrogen hold-up in either man-made voids or within fracture zones…

Measurement and Modelling of Sludge Mobilisation and Transport

Experimental: Current understanding of the flow and settling dynamics of nuclear waste suspensions and sludges is poor due both to the complex nature of the particle phase…

Novel Ion Exchange Materials

The ion exchange material used in SIXEP to remove Sr and Cs from Sellafield effluent is the natural zeolite clinoptilolite…

One step extraction and quantification of radionuclides using superparamagnetic bead and nanopore technologies

Loughborough University has developed a range of polymeric ligands with the capacity to selectively bind trace radioactive contaminants…

Magnetic Nanoparticles for Waste Separation or Sequestration

The development of magnetic nanoparticles for separation technologies in liquid systems is well-developed and already in use in medical testing…

Immobilisation Process for High Dose Spent Adsorbent from Fukushima

The accident at Fukushima in Japan has led to the generation of large volumes of High Dose Spent Adsorbents (HDSA)…

Glass Composite Materials as an Intermediate Level Waste form

Glass Composite Materials (GCM) are materials defined as any material that contains both a crystalline and a glass phase…

Thermal treatment of PCM and ILW

The projected UK plutonium contaminated material (PCM) waste volume is >30000 m3 with 70% arising at Sellafield…

New Ion Exchange Materials for Effluent Clean-Up

Novel Ceramic Wasteforms for Cs and Sr Encapsulation

Corrosion of Uranium in Water and Hydrogen

The Evolution of Grouted Wasteforms Containing Uranium

The Development of Characterisation Techniques for Intermediate Level Waste Sludges

Modelling Hydrogen Generation from Radioactive Sludges

Irradiated Sludges - Experimental

The interaction of brucite surfaces with uranium and its fission products

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