May 2019 - Wood

Greg Willetts, Vice President (Nuclear), Wood

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the EUROSAFE newsletter, brought to you this month by Wood’s Regulatory Support Directorate (RSD).  We are the UK Technical Safety Organisation supporting the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator. 

Wood is a global leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services in energy, industry, and the built environment. We operate in more than 60 countries, employing around 60,000 people and with revenues of around €9.9 billion. The company was originally founded by John Wood and it grew up supporting the North Sea oil industry. 

RSD is an independent organisation within Wood whose sole business is to provide support to nuclear safety regulators.

Over the past 12 months, major developments relating to nuclear power in the UK have included:

  • Continued progress on the EPR at Hinkley Point in Somerset, including first concrete pour for the reactor building raft;
  • Suspension of the project to build a Hitachi ABWR at Wylfa in North Wales;
  • Generic Design Assessment by ONR of the China General Nuclear Power Corporation HPR1000 design, which is proposed for Bradwell in Essex; 
  • Commitment by the UK government to both Generation IV and small modular reactor research and development. 

Whilst uncertainty around Brexit continues, the UK’s nuclear industry remains committed to international cooperation at all levels. 

In this newsletter, we hope you will enjoy reading about some examples of Wood’s work relating to nuclear safety. Feel free to contact us for more information about any of the topics covered.

Greg Willetts
Vice President (Nuclear), Wood


Bespoke glovebox project supports transatlantic transfer of nuclear material

Wood designed, built and commissioned equipment and facilities used to repackage nuclear material so that it could be transported across the Atlantic.

The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the USA’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) recently announced the successful completion of the export programme.



Making a success of Brexatom

When the UK Government published the draft European Union (Withdrawal) Bill on January 26, 2017, it became clear that Brexit would also mean Brexatom. To the surprise of some, the UK signalled its intention to withdraw from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).



The Effect of Temperatures on the Criticality Safety of Fissile Systems

Wood’s Regulatory Support Directorate carried out a study into the effect of temperature on the criticality safety of fissile systems for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the UK civil nuclear regulator.

Criticality calculations for fissile material transport packages are typically carried out at room temperature.  However, transport packages may encounter a wide range of temperatures, and the IAEA Transport Regulations state that packages shall be designed for ambient temperatures from ‑40°C to +38°C.  Previous work on temperature effects has mainly looked at the high temperatures found in reactors, but this new study also considers temperatures below freezing. 


Software used

Innovation in radiation monitoring

Wood is making radiation monitoring of storage ponds safer and more timely by using specially adapted remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

Conventionally, samples of pond water are collected manually and sent away for laboratory analysis. This approach exposes workers to increased radiation doses, carries the risk of contamination spread due to dropped samples and never gives a current reading because it takes several days to obtain the analysis results.


Save the Date - EUROSAFE2019
Woods George Answorth and Greg Fife

Sealing the deal

Pipework for the shield cooling system at the Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert, Michigan, is buried in concrete.

This means it shares a problem with the UK’s advanced gas-cooled reactors, which have the same design feature. When cooling pipes develop tiny cracks and begin to leak, access is impossible for conventional repair methods such as welding.


Software used

Thought bubble solves hydrogen puzzle

Waste retrieved from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS) at Sellafield is being safely stored in an unencapsulated form for 50-75 years. This has never been done before and it is safety critical that hydrogen generation is measured and managed, especially when the waste first goes into store.


enstti logo




As a member of a technical staff, engineer or scientist from:

  • a nuclear regulatory authority,
  • a technical safety organization,
  • a research organization,
  • a consultancy,
  • a government or non-governmental organization that deals with the geological disposal of radioactive waste, or
  • a waste management organization involved with geological disposal,

you wish to acquire a thorough understanding of:

  • the safety requirements for geological disposal,
  • the regulatory process for licensing geological disposal facilities,
  • the regulatory requirements concerning the safety case,
  • how the regulatory authority systematically reviews and assesses the safety case.

ENSTTI, the professional training and tutoring institute for the transfer of knowledge and expertise from the European nuclear safety organizations, is offering the first of a series of three course modules on the regulatory review of the safety case for geological disposal.

5-day training course.
Next session:
September 23-27, 2019 in Paris, France

From the professional viewpoint, the course will give insight on safety strategy, site characterization and facility description to help you explain the safety case context.

Teaching methods:
- Lectures, discussion and practical sessions.
- Working group exercises and technical visits, supervised by experienced TSO experts.

You can register for all three modules, or for any one that interests you.
Consult t
he online training schedule.

Price: €2,500 per participant
Registration Deadline: 22 July 2019

Contact & registration:



The EUROSAFE NEWS are published on behalf of EUROSAFE and its partners by GRS (Imprint).

The content of this issue is provided by


In case of any questions please contact

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy