Barrnon began its association with the nuclear decommissioning industry in 2012 when we were invited to submit designs for the recovery of stratified radioactive sludge that is currently held in contained ponds at nuclear sites around the UK.

Working closely with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), we’ve developed a complete suite of tools for radioactive sludge removal. Through extensive research, site visits, testing and collaboration, Barrnon has developed intimate knowledge of the unique challenges of radioactive waste recovery.

Contaminated sludge removal

With the assistance of a grant from the Technology Strategy Board of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, we developed and deployed our Bladecutter horizontal dredge system to remove contaminated sludge from nuclear ponds at Hunterston.

The project was so successful that a ‘mark 2’ Bladecutter was commissioned and delivered in 2015. Since then, two bays at Hunterston have been cleared to a ‘clean floor’ environment enabling the Hunterston decommissioning team to earn the first bonuses ever awarded in the decommissioning sector.

We continue to develop our suite of specialist decommissioning tools. These are currently under consideration for work at Sellafield. We’re also consulting with Japanese utilities giant, TEPCO, to provide solutions for the clean up at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. At the same time, we’re engaged in the development of specialist equipment for the Hanford site in America.

Crucially, we have partnerships in place with international Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to facilitate the adoption of Barrnon designs across the nuclear industry. Barrnon has also been certified as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 compliant for the supply and repair of nuclear decontamination equipment.