Decommissioning nuclear sites is a complex, hazardous and expensive process.
Decommissioning is the process by which old nuclear sites are made safe. This includes the clean-up of all residual radioactivity, dismantling the structures, removing any hazardous materials or containing them for storage, and making the site safe for alternative use. It is a complex and lengthy process. The legacy nuclear fleet needs innovative, cost-effective solutions to make the decommissioning process cheaper, faster, and safer for operators.
In the UK alone, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s estimated cost of decommissioning and clean-up is around £131 billion and they predict the process could take up to 120 years. Of the UK’s 19 sites, Sellafield is the largest and has the most diverse range of nuclear-based activities in Europe. It, therefore, presents the most significant and complex challenge of all the nuclear sites.