PML invest in new fly ash transport and storage
Investment follows signing of deal with Government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
POWER Minerals Ltd (PML), independent providers of power station ash, have invested in new transport and storage facilities after signing a seven-year deal with the British Government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to supply fly ash for use in the encapsulation of nuclear waste that will then be safely stored in containers.
The contract will ensure supplies for NDA-licensed companies Magnox Ltd, Sellafield Ltd, and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. Magnox, who manage the contract, are responsible for the safe and secure clean-up of 12 nuclear sites and the operation of one hydro-electric plant in the UK.
Sutton Coldfield-based PML, who also have a team at Drax, the UK’s biggest power station, have invested in new storage facilities for the ash as part of the NDA project, as well as specialist tankers required for the job.
The nature of the encapsulation process means the specific ash material supplied by PML must be stored safely in sterile bags to avoid contamination, whilst the delivery mechanism requires tankers to collect the bags’ contents via vacuum before transit, and then blow the ash directly into silos at the decommissioning sites, ready for use in encapsulation.
Andrew Oborne (left of photo), Magnox’s chief engineer, visited PML to inspect the dedicated storage and distribution facility for the specified fly ash, overseeing factors such as the delivery methodology and storage procedures, as well as environmental considerations, before final approval was given to dispatch the first loads.
PML – who are owned by EP Power Minerals GmbH – also fund research into the use of power station by-products, lobby on behalf of the sector, and are working to ensure legacy stockpiles across Britain can be accessed for future use.
PML’s sales and technical director, Ivan Skidmore (right of photo), said: ‘We are constantly looking for new applications for ash, and the deal with NDA – to supply fly ash to encapsulate nuclear waste – takes a material derived from coal-fired power and uses it to make safe the hazardous waste of nuclear generation. We’re delighted to be entrusted with this important role, which has illustrated another versatile application for ash.’