Developing actions to minimise avoidable waste and its challenge to plant safety

N. Blundell, D. Shaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Purpose: Considering the UK's limited capacity for waste disposal (particularly for hazardous/radiological waste) there is growing focus on waste avoidance and minimisation to lower the volumes of waste being sent to disposal. The hazardous nature of some waste can complicate its management and reduction. To address this problem there was a need for a decision making methodology to support managers in the nuclear industry as they identify ways to reduce the production of avoidable hazardous waste. The methodology we developed is called Waste And Sourcematter Analysis (WASAN). A methodology that begins the thought process at the pre-waste creation stage (i.e. Avoid). Design/methodology/ approach: The methodology analyses the source of waste, the production of waste inside the facility, the knock on effects from up/downstream facilities on waste production, and the down-selection of waste minimisation actions/options. WASAN has been applied to case studies with licencees and this paper reports on one such case study - the management of plastic bags in Enriched Uranium Residues Recovery Plant (EURRP) at Springfields (UK) where it was used to analyse the generation of radioactive plastic bag waste. Findings: Plastic bags are used in EURRP as a strategy to contain hazard. Double bagging of materials led to the proliferation of these bags as a waste. The paper reports on the philosophy behind WASAN, the application of the methodology to this problem, the results, and views from managers in EURRP. Originality/value: This paper presents WASAN as a novel methodology for analyzing the minimization of avoidable hazardous waste. This addresses an issue that is important to many industries e.g. where legislation enforces waste minimization, where waste disposal costs encourage waste avoidance, or where plant design can reduce waste. The paper forms part of the HSE Nuclear Installations Inspectorate's desire to work towards greater openness and transparency in its work and the development in its thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22nd Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium on Hazards 2011 (HAZARDS XXII)
Subtitle of host publicationprocess safety and environmental protection
Place of PublicationRugby (UK)
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Event22nd Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium on Hazards - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Apr 201114 Apr 2011

Publication series

NameInstitution of Chemical Engineers Symposium Series
PublisherInstitution of Chemical Engineers


Symposium22nd Institution of Chemical Engineers Symposium on Hazards
Abbreviated titleHAZARDS XXII
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherProcess Safety and Environmental Protection

Bibliographical note

© Crown Copyright 2011. This article is published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.


  • decision making methodology
  • plastic bags
  • waste management
  • waste minimization paper type: Research paper


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