It’s a cradle-to-grave proposition in that we can organise not just storage but decontamination, repackaging and disposal of this material.”
Cleanaway has identified a new business opportunity with the processing of radioactive waste from oil and gas platforms off Western Australia.
The Liquids and Technical Services team has repackaged about 200 tonnes of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) at a facility at Karratha and has the capability to process more, says Regional Manager West, Liquid and Technical Services (LTS), Daniel Le Provost.
“We have developed from scratch a capability which few people have, and it’s a first for Cleanaway,” Daniel says.
“It’s a cradle-to-grave proposition in that we can organise not just storage but decontamination, repackaging and disposal of this material.”
Pictured: Regional Manager West, Liquid and Technical Services (LTS), Daniel Le Provost.
“This is a culmination of work over the last few years and includes the construction of a best-in-class purpose-built radioactive waste storage facility at a remote site in the Pilbara, and the obtaining of a Radiation Safety Storage Registration issued by WA Radiological Council.”
“We have been storing stored NORM waste from an oil and gas company operating off the North West Shelf for 18 months asCOVID-19 restrictions delayed sorting and packaging until recently.”
“This process involves decanting the waste and any removing any free liquids, packaging it in bags, which are sealed inside lined UN rated drums. It is then stored until it has been approved for disposal. There are currently only a couple of legitimate disposal options, one overseas in North America and one locally in Western Australia.”
Pictured: NORM waste packaging in progress
Daniel thanked everyone involved in this project, including Karratha Chemist and project lead Sean Harrington and Karratha Branch Manager Michelle Laffey.
“Given the obvious dangers of processing radioactive material and guided by our Home Safe value, managing the risks was our top priority,” Daniel says.
“The work was performed by trained employees who were continuously monitored by Radiation Safety Officers who were dedicated to the project to monitor ongoing exposure levels.”