UniTech has officially launched decommissioning support services to current and future nuclear reactor decommissioning sites in the United States!
In December 2020, we were awarded a Basic Ordering Agreement (B.O.A) by the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.) Office of Environmental Management. The B.O.A. enables UniTech to conduct nationwide low-level and mixed low-level waste receiving, handling, and treatment services at Environmental Management cleanup sites.
Our team is eager to meet three core decommissioning project team needs currently underserved by nuclear industry vendor partners:
- Cost-effective materials processing and waste management.
- Leasing of respiratory equipment.
- Seamless management and on-demand delivery of protective clothing and safety equipment.
“The B.O.A. enables us to bring our ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ approach that utilities across the industry depend on to decommissioning projects. We can now offer decommissioning project managers the support they need to make the right PPE and waste management decisions for these long-term, complex, and costly projects,” said UniTech Director of Sales and Marketing Gregg Johnstone. “Our partnership will significantly improve the financial, carbon footprint, efficiency, and worker safety outcomes of each decommissioning project we support.”
Materials Processing & Waste Management
Waste received by UniTech from decommissioning sites will be processed at our Oak Ridge Service Center (ORSC) in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
UniTech currently decontaminates, reuses, and/or recycles 5 million lbs. of customer materials each year across the U.S. and Canadian nuclear industries. The ORSC and its experienced team have become an asset to UniTech customers since we acquired the facility in 2016. Currently, the ORSC saves existing UniTech customers over $3.5 million per year in waste management costs, leveraging licensed Bulk Survey for Release (BSFR) processing at reduced rates.
UniTech offers the same proven cost-saving and waste-reducing methods our customers now depend on to decommissioning projects.
Respiratory Equipment Leasing
Historically, purchase of respiratory protection has been a significant capital expenditure for utilities when commencing a new decommissioning project. Costly investment in equipment that won’t be reused after project completion simply doesn’t make sense.
To solve this problem, UniTech will lease industry-leading 3M® Versaflo® PAPR Systems to decommissioning project teams. Decommissioning teams will reap the benefits of our nuclear industry direct-from-the-manufacturer respiratory protection partnership with 3M®, without unnecessary spending. Project teams will have access to best-in-class respiratory protection technology for the duration of decommissioning, without uncertainty about how the units will be handled after the project is completed.
Management of Protective Clothing and Safety Equipment
Decommissioning project teams will benefit from just-in-time delivery of protective clothing and safety equipment from UniTech’s Mobile Supply Store. In addition to being on-demand, the Mobile Supply Store enables teams to only pay for the items they use.
In addition to respiratory protection, we also offer 3M®’s DBI-SALA® line of leading fall protection — ideal for stocking in Mobile Supply Store deliveries to the decommissioning site.
Most importantly, we’re never far away! UniTech operates regional plants across the United States, with proximity to all existing and future U.S. decommissioning sites — meaning we can truly be there anytime our expertise and support is needed.
Moving the Industry Forward
To advance the U.S. nuclear industry’s strategic plan spearheaded by the Nuclear Energy Institute, Delivering the Nuclear Promise®, we must actively apply the same problem-solving approach to decommissioning projects that we are applying to outages, special projects, and day-to-day operations for active nuclear reactors.
Currently, 19 U.S. nuclear reactors are going through the decommissioning process, with more to come. Each of these projects pose the opportunity to implement practices that put safety first while also optimizing efficiency and reducing overall project costs.
Since Delivering the Nuclear Promise® was announced in 2012, the U.S. nuclear industry has lowered generating costs nearly 32 percent. UniTech is proud to be a key partner to the industry in this progress, through the many new services and innovations that our team has launched and continuously improved over time.
We take pride in our roles as partners to utility management in crafting fleet-wide plans, and partners to plant management in meeting challenging projects head-on. Fulfilling the role of decommissioning project strategic partner is our logical next step. We look forward to the work ahead!