Contractor develops technique for immobilising radioactive nuclear waste

Costain has been awarded a nuclear industry patent after developing an innovative technique for immobilising radioactive waste.

The patent – which involves a more efficient method of immobilising radioactive sludge produced when nuclear rods are cooled – has been granted after a four-year examination process from the Patent Office.

The technique allows nuclear power stations to immobilise up to six times as much radioactive sludge a week by using the improved cementation process.

Paul Campbell, nuclear process sector director at Costain, said: “We are extremely pleased to have been granted our first nuclear patent.”

“This is one of a number of our novel approaches to the problems encountered when decommissioning nuclear plant.”

Charles Sweeney, Costain energy and process managing director, said: “This demonstrates the importance Costain places on developing innovative solutions to address complex challenges faced by the industry.”