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Underground nuclear geological waste facility contract signed

Consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff today announced it has signed a four-year contract with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to provide technical support for developing an underground disposal facility that it is hoped will isolate radioactive materials from the environment for thousands of years.

The Geological Disposal Facility project will be a multi-billion pound engineering challenge to safely and securely build and operate a deep underground storage facility at a UK location that has yet to be chosen. The government is leading the site selection process under the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely framework. Engineers on the project face significant challenges to create, for the first time, a facility that will be engineered to last for millennia.

“The development of an underground disposal facility for radioactive materials is one of the most exciting engineering challenges facing the UK today, and it is also a vital legacy for future generations,” said Parsons Brinckerhoff senior director, energy David Rutherford.

Parsons Brinckerhoff’s work will be undertaken through its involvement with the Orchid group which was originally formed in 2005 to bring together expertise from across industry to meet the needs of repository engineering. The Orchid group consists of Nuvia, Gardiner & Theobald, National Nuclear Laboratory, SKB International, University of Manchester, Oxford Technologies, Nuclear Technologies and the British Geological Survey.

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