Simulant powders for nuclear decommissioning
BLENDING, batching, labelling and despatching powders is bread and butter to us but one recent customer put our versatility to the test.
As a bespoke powder blending manufacturer and packer to a wide range of sectors from agrochem and horticulture to household, motor and construction, these are services we are proud to deliver daily.
The custom-made nature of our work means few days are seldom the same however we found ourselves breaking even newer ground recently with an online enquiry from the nuclear industry.
The brief was to source, blend and supply a wide range of specific dry materials that would act as simulant substances in the commissioning and factory testing of a new machine which would be used to convert low grade nuclear waste into a more manageable form for long term storage.
While some of the materials we had worked with before, others we hadn’t so we set about identifying new suppliers with all the associated quality and suitability checks required, often involving lengthy lead times.
With all the materials sourced, pre-production preparation was next: Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessments were carried out, hazardous properties were reviewed and the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was lined up.
The brief called for accurate blending of specific substances into 23 different batches from 10 varying formulations in 21 mixes. These needed to be packed and labelled in such a way that they could be easily emptied into the machine that was being commissioned.
The accuracy of each blend was paramount and required a very structured and regimented approach to be taken both in how we manufactured the batches and how everything was documented in the accompanying paperwork to ensure traceability and to prove the integrity of each batch.
The batches were filled, 20kg at a time, into polythene bags inside cardboard cartons which made them easy to handle during commissioning. The boxes were then palletised in such a way to minimise the number of pallets needed while still being easily identifiable and accessible for our very happy customer.
While the nuclear industry might not be a sector that you’d readily associate with an independent bespoke powder blending company such as ourselves, it just goes to prove how flexible and versatile we can be in tailoring our services and expertise to meet the needs of our customers.