UK-based Aquila Nuclear Engineering has been selected by the Sellafield Programme and Project Partners (PPP) to support the design and build of replacement nuclear laboratories.

As part of an eight-year contract estimated at GBP9 million ($12.5m), Aquila and sub-contractor Jacobs will integrate complex, high-precision analytical equipment into gloveboxes and shielded hot cells as part of the Replacement Analytical Project (RAP). This is one of several major projects involved in environmental clean-up at the Sellafield site which includes the recovery and management of large amounts of legacy high-level waste.

RAP includes modification of the onsite National Nuclear Laboratory Central Laboratory facility to incorporate new analytical testing to support site operational missions during the next 30 years by analysing low, medium and high active material on behalf of 200 internal customers. The project is being delivered by PPP, which was set up by Sellafield Ltd to deliver major projects and site-wide project delivery improvements over the next 20 years.

Aquila Nuclear Engineering CEO Dave Barker said the contract “will not only allows us to provide high-level engineering skills from the Aquila pool but also creates a platform to invest in our younger engineers joining the business and establish a presence in West Cumbria”. Greg Willetts, vice president for technology and cyber solutions at Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International said the contract “gives us the opportunity to combine complementary skills in chemistry, advanced instrumentation, engineering and nuclear shielding to deliver a world-class analytical solution which will play a vital role in Sellafield Ltd’s mission to create a clean and safe environment for future generations.”