This large scale radioactive and chemical land remediation project is a recent example of UKAEA delivering safe and cost effective restoration of a nuclear legacy. The SSA was a 7-hectare part of the non-nuclear licensed area at Harwell, Oxfordshire. The Harwell site is steadily being redeveloped as a business centre. Restoration of the SSA was linked to an opportunity to develop adjacent land for new residential housing. The SSA shared a boundary with Chilton County Primary School and the remediation project had high stakeholder interest. The RAF used the SSA as an ammunition store until 1945. UKAEA used the site from 1946 for radioactive waste handling and for the burial of chemical, radioactive and beryllium contaminated wastes. Planning, characterisation and decommissioning has been ongoing since the late 1980’s. Over the last two years a final clean-up operation has been completed. The project was managed by UKAEA and implemented through competitive contract by RWE Nukem and VHE Construction. The clean-up utilised stakeholder management and consultation methods to inform regulators and the local community. This included a formal public consultation concerning remedial options and the potential for environmental impact. The clean-up was designed against site specific risk based radionuclide and chemical clean-up targets. The project involved the survey, assay and clearance of 250,000 m3 of soils resulting in the segregation of 18,000 m3 of general, chemical and exempt radioactive wastes. The SSA landfill pits were excavated inside double ventilated containment tents in order to ensure that emissions from the works did not affect the nearby public. The project has successfully restored the site to a condition suitable for unrestricted public access.

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