Babcock Award for decommissioning redundant alpha-contaminated nuclear facilities

Lizzie Waterhouse, a Physicist at Cavendish Nuclear was awarded the ‘Individual Achievement Award’ at Babcock Group’s virtual Health and Safety Awards last week.

Lizzie was awarded this for her leadership of a project to develop a novel and ambitious approach to establishing the extent of alpha contamination in a 180 metre long containment tunnel.  

The work was delivered to exacting timescales and quality requirements. It involved the deployment of more conventional instruments as well as our new products Plutonium Hold-Up Measurement System (PHUMS) and AmCam to perform over 1570 measurements in 10 days of intense onsite activity.

“The project was a great success. We were able to set a new baseline for how we carry out some of our characterisation measurements safely, efficiently and effectively.  This provided an opportunity to save around £2m in decommissioning costs compared to the existing decommissioning solution, by removing design uncertainty and project risk

“This project represents a world-leading capability for addressing the complex challenges posed by the decommissioning of redundant alpha-contaminated nuclear facilities.”

Lizzie Waterhouse, Physicist, Cavendish Nuclear
AmCam – a handheld, compact, lightweight device that combines a gamma ray spectrometry detector with a small video camera, capable of indicating radiation count rate alongside a corresponding video image of the area being surveyed. AmCam is ideally suited to Post Operational Clean Out (POCO) in alpha plant decommissioning.