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O&G decommissioning: Learning from other industries



O&G decommissioning: Learning from other industries


26 March 2015 - 17:45-20:30


Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen, UK


Introduction by Atkins' Peter Falconer
Talk by Graham Buck, Senior Incorporated Engineer

Speaker biography

Graham is a Senior Incorporated Engineer with a variety of experience in Nuclear Decommissioning and Process/Water Industries. His experience includes engineering leadership, operations management, site works, commissioning, nuclear operations, retrievals and testing, along with traditional design and substantiation. He currently leads the mechanical engineers within the southern decommissioning team, as part of the Atkins Nuclear Business.

He has gained extensive experience in Nuclear Decommissioning having delivered complex projects across both Magnox and Sellafield sites, in particular the Berkeley Site and MiniStores Project. His experience on the Chute Silo project (which is part of Berkeley Waste Vaults) has taken him through the entire project lifecycle, from early definition and conceptual development, through contract negotiation and award, detailed design management and leadership, manufacturing, testing, commissioning, operations (including the provision of training) and retrievals from one of the most notoriously difficult decommissioning projects. He was the winner of the Atkins Nuclear Award 2012 for Outstanding Achievement and has presented at the ENC2012 Conference (UK), NI Congress 2013 (UK) and WM Symposia 2014 (Phoenix USA) on decommissioning topics.


Atkins has not only been involved in Oil & Gas decommissioning for over twenty years, it has gained significant experience in decommissioning in other industry sectors including nuclear and power. 

Atkins Nuclear Projects Division manages some of the most challenging nuclear projects in the world, including the Sellafield Silos Direct-encapsulation Plant project (SDP), UK.  SDP is one of the highest profile, most challenging decommissioning jobs in the world and through successful delivery we will demonstrate the UK's ability to decommission major historic plants, seen as essential to underpin any future new reactor build in the UK.   Complimentary to these high profile projects and outside of the Sellafield estate Atkins Nuclear Decommissioning teams have been intimately involved in the management and reduction of the hazard throughout the Magnox reactors. This includes the Intermediate Level Waste storage vaults at Berkeley, which features as the only non Sellafield project to appear in the Safety and Environmental Detriment Score top 10.

Atkins will provide some technical insight into this project providing background to the adoption of the waste hierarchy and how through challenging the norms of characterisation, sorting and segregation benefits of time and cost have been realised. We will hear how Atkins has developed systems and tools to minimise the unknowns and provide for both redundancy and flexibility when dismantling equipment and vessels.

In the Atkins Power division, Atkins has been heavily involved in the decommissioning of Power Stations, including in recent years both Methil and Inverkip.  Atkins was appointed as Owner's Engineer for their demolition.  Due to the lack of maintenance on the sites considerable deterioration and loss of integrity was exhibited, resulting in damage to certain areas and damage to asbestos insulation and migration of asbestos fibres which had to be addressed.   Using experience gained on previous similar projects undertaken by Atkins, the project teams produced the performance specification for the various elements of the demolition and site clearance.

Atkins is keen to share learning between industry sectors and this Winter Series session will explore the experiences from the Nuclear and Power industries in order to most effectively deal with the residual waste from decommissioning of our Oil & Gas facilities. 



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