Following a significant contamination event within Waste Vitrification Plant Line 3, the SDS team
was brought in to assess the situation and to develop a decontamination strategy. Acting as a
rapid response to the issue as part of their Sellafield decontamination framework contract, the
SDS team are the first point of call for such events. They have the required technical / specialist
capabilities and previous experience to react quickly and efficiently to any contamination incident.
The SDS Specialists undertook a number of initial sampling and characterisation operations
to determine the extent and levels of contamination in different areas of the plant. With this
information and their technical knowledge and experience they were able to develop a systematic
approach to decontaminate the different substrate’s and items within the facility. Producing an
overall strategy which allowed the plant to be brought back to operational status as quickly and as
safely as possible. This included a methodology for tracking & logging decontaminated areas for
future clearance and plant restart approval.
While the SDS team were key to the development for the overall strategy for the decontamination
of the facility they also took part in ‘hands on’ decontamination operations to assist in
getting the plant back to operational status. In order to achieve this, they also undertook the
training of Sellafield and contractor operatives in decontamination techniques and the use of
decontamination equipment, speeding up the process.
• A ‘first point of call’ during the incident, providing a rapid response that allowed the plant to be
assessed and the decontamination strategy to be put in place as quickly as possible.
• SDS trained 70 operators in basic decontamination techniques including rope access teams,
significantly reducing the time to get the plant back to operational status.