NUCLEAR & ENVIRONMENTAL INDUSTRY PROJECTS
We’ve worked in the nuclear and environmental sectors for over 15 years particularly focussing in the area of nuclear waste disposal and the environmental monitoring linked to this work. The company’s strong background in Earth Sciences has been an important factor in our participation in these large-scale investigations and enables us to bridge the knowledge gap from scientific and engineering disciplines to high end IT development and the design of powerful database driven systems which have contributed to the success of these projects.
Rock Characterisation Facility - Long-term Groundwater Monitoring System
NIREX* - Sellafield - Cumbria
The NIREX Rock Characterisation Facility (RCF) study began in 1992 at Longlands Farm, close to the nuclear facility at Sellafield, Cumbria. Among the aims of the project was the desire to study a range of properties present in the geosphere at that location and assess these with a view to the suitability of the site for deep radioactive waste storage.
As part of the study a large network of deep boreholes was developed into 23 of which were installed arrays of groundwater pressure monitoring probes providing 482 measurement ports in total. Data from these monitoring arrays was collected and stored in an Oracle/UNIX Long-term Groundwater Monitoring System (LTMS). The system was required to store large datasets, perform data manipulation and output data for use in geosphere modelling; at its peak the database contained over 76 million readings. In addition to the groundwater measurements the system held meteorological data from regional weather stations, flow data from watercourses and geological data derived during the investigation.
Planning permission to construct the RCF was refused by the Local Council and in 1997 the appeal to overturn the decision was rejected following a Public Enquiry. However, the LTMS continued to be operated and from early 1998 the management and administration of the LTMS was provided by Brooks Gamble Ltd, until it’s termination in 1999. Post closure reporting extended the project into 2000.
*NIREX is now integrated into the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, NDA
Dounreay Groundwater Monitoring System – Data Management & Visualisation
Dounreay Site Restoration Limited - Dounreay - Caithness
Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) is the site licence company responsible for the closure programme at Britain's former centre of fast reactor research and development. DSRL has held the site licence since April 1, 2008. Prior to this date the site was managed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).
As part of the site restoration works, DSRL must deal with the presence of Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) contained inside a shaft some 5m diameter and 65m deep, excavated within rock adjacent to the shore. The project to retrieve this material is well underway, however, prior to commencement of the works a groundwater monitoring system (GMS) was installed to measure and record groundwater pressures in and around the shaft area. Data from the GMS was used to model hydrogeological conditions and advise the design of shaft isolation works.
Having experience of a similar environmental monitoring system as part of the NIREX RCF project, Brooks Gamble Ltd were engaged to design and build the GMS at the Dounreay site. The system was required to store and manipulate time-series pressure data from an array of underground monitoring probes as well as atmospheric, tidal and shaft water level data and comprised Oracle/UNIX with PV-Wave data visualisation software. Tasks included data conversion, storage, quality assessment and graphical output of the data suite, and continues to-date with tidal, shaft water level and post isolation works groundwater monitoring boreholes .