Warrington, United Kingdom

British Nuclear Fuels Limited

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BNFL
Warrington, United Kingdom

British Nuclear Fuels Limited was a nuclear energy and fuels company owned by the UK Government. It was a former manufacturer and transporter of nuclear fuel , ran reactors, generated and sold electricity, reprocessed and managed spent fuel , and decommissioned nuclear plants and other similar facilities.Until 2003 its headquarters were based at Risley, near Warrington, England. BNFL's headquarters were then moved to Daresbury Park industrial estate, also near Warrington. On 1 April 2005, BNFL formed a new holding company, and started a rigorous restructuring process which would transfer or sell most of its entire domain, divisions. In 2005, it transferred all of its nuclear sites to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It then sold its Westinghouse Electric Company subsidiary in February 2006. Later, BNFL sold the separate companies that made up its major subsidiary, British Nuclear Group. By May 2009, BNFL had completed the sales of all its assets and had no remaining operational activities or businesses.BNFL continued to exist only as a legal entity to meet all pension liabilities and any obligations arising from disposal programmes. However, on 14 October 2010, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude announced that BNFL would be abolished along with a number of other government organisations. Wikipedia.


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News Article | September 30, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

The French and Chinese companies that are to build the £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will have to pay up to £7.2bn to dismantle and clean it up. Documents published yesterday reveal for the first time how much the developers, EDF and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), will have to pay to decommission the plant, beginning in 2083. The new reactors in Somerset will be unique in British nuclear history, as they are the first for which the operator will have to pay to make good the site afterwards. “Waste transfer contracts signed today mean that, for the first time in the UK, the full costs of decommissioning and waste management associated with the new power station are set aside during generation and are included in the price of the electricity,” EDF said in a statement. Decommissioning costs ate up around half the budget for the now-disbanded department of energy and climate change, after the liabilities for cleaning up old nuclear plants were effectively nationalised in 2004 and 2005 when two companies faced financial problems. The Hinkley Point C decommissioning costs are estimated at £5.9bn to £7.2bn, with the dismantling of the plant expected to begin in 2083. The government, EDF and CGN anticipate the winding up of the new reactors will continue well into the 22nd century. The plant is expected to be fully decommissioned “from 2138” when the final spent fuel is disposed of. Experts said the cost estimate was likely to be on the low side. “The reality in terms of decommissioning is that it always costs more than people say,” said Dr Paul Dorfman, of the Energy Institute at University College London. He claimed that the precedent of the government taking ownership of the liabilities of British Nuclear Fuels Limited and British Energy more than a decade ago showed that the government would be forced to shoulder the costs if Hinkley’s developers had a shortfall. The body charged with dismantling 17 of Britain’s old nuclear power plants puts the cost of cleanup at £117bn over 100 years in its latest annual report, more than twice the cost estimated a decade ago. A large proportion of the cost is due to the complexity of Sellafield. The business department also admitted that large scale solar power and onshore windfarms could produce electricity for less than the price agreed for Hinkley, as the National Audit Office said in the summer. But officials suggested there would be additional costs to the renewable alternatives. “There would be significant upgrades to the grid required (such as connection and planning costs) as well as increased costs to keep the system in balance,” said the ‘Value for money assessment’. Greenpeace UK executive director, John Sauven, said: “We now have it straight from the horse’s mouth. Increasingly cheaper renewable energy sources do indeed offer better value for money to British bill-payers than Hinkley. “The government tries to obfuscate the advantages of solar and wind by throwing in extra costs for grid upgrades and balancing the energy system. But there’s no evidence anywhere in the documents to back up their assumptions.”


There are numerous reasons why Toshiba, formerly an enormous and successful Japanese electronics manufacturer, is struggling to survive. One of the lessons available to be learned – once again – is caveat emptor (buyer beware). After a series of purchases and deals that gradually took Toshiba a long way from its core competencies, the company is facing large future losses. It is responsible for completing a massive amount of difficult work with little or no upside potential. It's tempting to look back and point out why those purchases are turning out to have been of dubious quality and grossly unsuited for the buyer. It would be unfair, however, to simply dismiss the series of actions that led to this point as having been completed by an unwary acquirer. With complex purchases, there are numerous parties to the deal. Before going too much farther, it would be appropriate for me to confess that much of what I am about to write has been learned or recognized slowly over time. I would have been a poor source of advice at the beginning of the saga. I thought each of the purchases were pretty good at the time they were made. My level of understanding wasn't any better than that of the people making the deals. The period between about 2003-2008 – just before the world financial crisis and just before the shale gale – was widely labeled as the Nuclear Renaissance. Toshiba, which was mainly a highly profitable, but growth-limited electronics manufacturing business, decided that the time was right to convert some of its cash into a larger share of what looked like a big growth opportunity. The company had some experience and assets in the nuclear equipment supplier business and in the large component manufacturing business. It had participated with GE in the building of a number of operating Japanese power plants and with both Hitachi and GE in the design, certification and initial construction projects for the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). BNFL, a company formerly known as British Nuclear Fuels Limited and fully owned by the U.K. government, was marketing a company called the Westinghouse Electric Company. Though carrying the venerable and deeply respected name of George Westinghouse, the inventor, manufacturer and businessman who founded what turned into one of the greatest industrial enterprises in history, the Westinghouse Electric Company was a only a small sliver of the corporation compared to its peak in the 1970s-1980s. A June 27, 1998 New York Times article described the company that BNFL owned in an article titled CBS to Sell Westinghouse Nuclear Units for $238 Million and Debts. The article begins with the following two paragraphs. That company had few of the capabilities that had made it both a household name and a successful supplier of the underlying design used in about 2/3 of the world's nuclear plants. It no longer manufactured large steam turbines or steam power equipment. It didn't produce Brayton-cycle gas turbines either. It didn't even make pumps and valves anymore since the divisions that handled that work also did a large amount of work for the nuclear Navy and could not be sold off to an entity owned by a foreign government. The Westinghouse that Toshiba purchased was a group of well-compensated, skilled engineers who were quite confident of their abilities to manipulate computer aided design equipment and work their way through regulatory wickets. The company included a large government services arm that was well versed in the competencies required to obtain contracts to service national laboratories and capture matching-funds grants to support a moderate level of advanced reactor design work. There was also a nuclear fuels manufacturing group and a nuclear plant contract services provider. Near the peak exuberance level of the Nuclear Renaissance – Feb 2006 – BNFL was able to give Westinghouse some excellent curb appeal and convince Toshiba to bid $5.4 billion for a unit that BNFL had purchased for $238 million plus assumption of less than $1 billion in debts just 8 years before. Here are the first two paragraphs of a New York Times piece describing that sale. For those who may not recall what was happening in early 2006, there was a large wave of interest in building new nuclear plants in the United States. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 not only provided some significant financial incentives for early movers, it sent a loud signal to people who had never lost interest in the clean, reliable, affordable technology that the U.S. government was going to be supportive instead of obstructive. The language in EPA 2005 directly gave the government "skin in the game" by backing loans and by accepting some financial responsibility for costs that might be imposed as a result of regulatory decisions. That responsibility was limited to $500 million and there wasn't any specific information on how a project owner would go about proving that the cost was imposed by the government, but the number looked big at the time. Combined with rapidly increasing prices of alternatives like natural gas and the increasing demonization of coal, utilities expressed their strong interest in nuclear by starting a couple of dozen projects. In December of 2005, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had issued a design certification for Westinghouse's AP1000, indicating to most people that the company had a refined, Generation III nuclear plant design that was complete and ready to sell. It quickly became the leading contender for a number of the projects in the U.S. and attracted substantial attention in overseas markets. Toshiba executives apparently thought they were buying a winner. They did not fully understand that Westinghouse was a shadow of its former self and that a nuclear plant design that is certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as being safe is not the same thing as a blueprint-level manufacturing and construction design sufficiently detailed to successfully build and assemble a working power plant. Enter Shaw Group With Its Money And Stone & Webster Subsidiary The $5.4 billion that Toshiba agreed to pay for Westinghouse was such a generous amount that it was actually beyond the company's financial capacity. It needed partners to take equity in the project. It initially thought that it would be able to find enough willing partners to purchase 49% of the company, but willing buyers did not line up at the door. The Shaw Group, a recently assembled conglomerate headquartered in the Southeast U.S., was also enthusiastic about the Nuclear Renaissance. It had purchased the Stone & Webster brand at a bankruptcy auction for the long-established construction company that had famously built most of the MIT campus and had completed a number of reasonably successful nuclear plant projects in the U.S. Shaw had renamed the assorted construction company assets that it had acquired over the years as Stone and Webster. It's unclear if any of the skilled tradesmen or project managers that had made Stone and Webster a respected success remained with the subsidiary that the Shaw Group owned. One of the major competencies of the Shaw Group, however, was the financial savvy and fund-raising capabilities of its founder, Jim Bernard. He made a deal with Toshiba to purchase a 20% stake in the company in return for an agreement that his company would be a major supplier and constructor for the first few AP1000 units built in the U.S. That equity purchase was financed with something close to 100% debt that included a balloon payment. Shaw Group, which was a skilled deal-making enterprise, included a provision in the contract that almost guaranteed that Toshiba would purchase that 20% stake in time to pay off the balloon payment. The combination of Toshiba, Westinghouse, Stone & Webster (Shaw Group) was seen as credible enough to attract big utility customers, commercial financing, and even a government loan guarantee for two of the reactors. One of the features of the terms and conditions offered to both Southern Company and SCANA was a sovereign guarantee that Toshiba would cover cost overruns past a seemingly distant – at the time – ceiling. Unfortunately, none of the individual players on any of the teams had actually built anything remotely similar to an AP1000, even though the corporate logos were all very impressive and the deal makers were most likely very polished presenters with fine suits, pressed shirts and carefully knotted silk ties. In the summer of 2012, Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) purchased the Shaw Group, which had booked more than $6 billion in revenue in the prior years and had a diverse portfolio of component suppliers for the oil and gas business along with its nuclear construction arm. In Jan 2013, Toshiba exercised its option and purchased the 20% stake in Westinghouse that Shaw Group held. Soon after CB&I entered the picture, litigation activities increased as the parties involved in the construction project recognized that progress as a percentage of project completion was not being accurately reported. In October 2015, Westinghouse attempted to settle the conflicts by agreeing to purchase the portion of CB&I that was involved in the nuclear plant construction activities. CB&I's statement describing the deal sounds almost like a sign of relief in terms of escaping from a difficult situation and pressing the risk onto a different organization. There are reports that Westinghouse executives, up through and including Danny Roderick, the CEO, pressed hard to get the deal approved. There is an unnamed whistleblower who claims that their desire to settle the conflicts and move forward came through as undue pressure to ignore some of the looming risks that were being accepted by Toshiba as part of the deal. Once again, Toshiba accepted larger risks than it knew about as a result of another purchase.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

There are numerous reasons why Toshiba, formerly an enormous and successful Japanese electronics manufacturer, is struggling to survive. One of the lessons available to be learned – once again – is caveat emptor (buyer beware). After a series of purchases and deals that gradually took Toshiba a long way from its core competencies, the company is facing large future losses. It is responsible for completing a massive amount of difficult work with little or no upside potential. It’s tempting to look back and point out why those purchases are turning out to have been of dubious quality and grossly unsuited for the buyer. It would be unfair, however, to simply dismiss the series of actions that led to this point as having been completed by an unwary acquirer. With complex purchases, there are numerous parties to the deal. Before going too much farther, it would be appropriate for me to confess that much of what I am about to write has been learned or recognized slowly over time. I would have been a poor source of advice at the beginning of the saga. I thought each of the purchases were pretty good at the time they were made. My level of understanding wasn’t any better than that of the people making the deals. The period between about 2003-2008 – just before the world financial crisis and just before the shale gale – was widely labeled as the Nuclear Renaissance. Toshiba, which was mainly a highly profitable, but growth-limited electronics manufacturing business, decided that the time was right to convert some of its cash into a larger share of what looked like a big growth opportunity. The company had some experience and assets in the nuclear equipment supplier business and in the large component manufacturing business. It had participated with GE in the building of a number of operating Japanese power plants and with both Hitachi and GE in the design, certification and initial construction projects for the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). BNFL, a company formerly known as British Nuclear Fuels Limited and fully owned by the U.K. government, was marketing a company called the Westinghouse Electric Company. Though carrying the venerable and deeply respected name of George Westinghouse, the inventor, manufacturer and businessman who founded what turned into one of the greatest industrial enterprises in history, the Westinghouse Electric Company was a only a small sliver of the corporation compared to its peak in the 1970s-1980s. A June 27, 1998 New York Times article described the company that BNFL owned in an article titled CBS to Sell Westinghouse Nuclear Units for $238 Million and Debts. The article begins with the following two paragraphs. That company had few of the capabilities that had made it both a household name and a successful supplier of the underlying design used in about 2/3 of the world’s nuclear plants. It no longer manufactured large steam turbines or steam power equipment. It didn’t produce Brayton-cycle gas turbines either. It didn’t even make pumps and valves anymore since the divisions that handled that work also did a large amount of work for the nuclear Navy and could not be sold off to an entity owned by a foreign government. The Westinghouse that Toshiba purchased was a group of well-compensated, skilled engineers who were quite confident of their abilities to manipulate computer aided design equipment and work their way through regulatory wickets. The company included a large government services arm that was well versed in the competencies required to obtain contracts to service national laboratories and capture matching-funds grants to support a moderate level of advanced reactor design work. There was also a nuclear fuels manufacturing group and a nuclear plant contract services provider. Near the peak exuberance level of the Nuclear Renaissance – Feb 2006 – BNFL was able to give Westinghouse some excellent curb appeal and convince Toshiba to bid $5.4 billion for a unit that BNFL had purchased for $238 million plus assumption of less than $1 billion in debts just 8 years before. Here are the first two paragraphs of a New York Times piece describing that sale. For those who may not recall what was happening in early 2006, there was a large wave of interest in building new nuclear plants in the United States. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 not only provided some significant financial incentives for early movers, it sent a loud signal to people who had never lost interest in the clean, reliable, affordable technology that the U.S. government was going to be supportive instead of obstructive. The language in EPA 2005 directly gave the government “skin in the game” by backing loans and by accepting some financial responsibility for costs that might be imposed as a result of regulatory decisions. That responsibility was limited to $500 million and there wasn’t any specific information on how a project owner would go about proving that the cost was imposed by the government, but the number looked big at the time. Combined with rapidly increasing prices of alternatives like natural gas and the increasing demonization of coal, utilities expressed their strong interest in nuclear by starting a couple of dozen projects. In December of 2005, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had issued a design certification for Westinghouse’s AP1000, indicating to most people that the company had a refined, Generation III nuclear plant design that was complete and ready to sell. It quickly became the leading contender for a number of the projects in the U.S. and attracted substantial attention in overseas markets. Toshiba executives apparently thought they were buying a winner. They did not fully understand that Westinghouse was a shadow of its former self and that a nuclear plant design that is certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as being safe is not the same thing as a blueprint-level manufacturing and construction design sufficiently detailed to successfully build and assemble a working power plant. The $5.4 billion that Toshiba agreed to pay for Westinghouse was such a generous amount that it was actually beyond the company’s financial capacity. It needed partners to take equity in the project. It initially thought that it would be able to find enough willing partners to purchase 49% of the company, but willing buyers did not line up at the door. The Shaw Group, a recently assembled conglomerate headquartered in the Southeast U.S., was also enthusiastic about the Nuclear Renaissance. It had purchased the Stone & Webster brand at a bankruptcy auction for the long-established construction company that had famously built most of the MIT campus and had completed a number of reasonably successful nuclear plant projects in the U.S. Shaw had renamed the assorted construction company assets that it had acquired over the years as Stone and Webster. It’s unclear if any of the skilled tradesmen or project managers that had made Stone and Webster a respected success remained with the subsidiary that the Shaw Group owned. One of the major competencies of the Shaw Group, however, was the financial savvy and fund-raising capabilities of its founder, Jim Bernard. He made a deal with Toshiba to purchase a 20% stake in the company in return for an agreement that his company would be a major supplier and constructor for the first few AP1000 units built in the U.S. That equity purchase was financed with something close to 100% debt that included a balloon payment. Shaw Group, which was a skilled deal-making enterprise, included a provision in the contract that almost guaranteed that Toshiba would purchase that 20% stake in time to pay off the balloon payment. The combination of Toshiba, Westinghouse, Stone & Webster (Shaw Group) was seen as credible enough to attract big utility customers, commercial financing, and even a government loan guarantee for two of the reactors. One of the features of the terms and conditions offered to both Southern Company and SCANA was a sovereign guarantee that Toshiba would cover cost overruns past a seemingly distant – at the time – ceiling. Unfortunately, none of the individual players on any of the teams had actually built anything remotely similar to an AP1000, even though the corporate logos were all very impressive and the deal makers were most likely very polished presenters with fine suits, pressed shirts and carefully knotted silk ties. In the summer of 2012, Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) purchased the Shaw Group, which had booked more than $6 billion in revenue in the prior years and had a diverse portfolio of component suppliers for the oil and gas business along with its nuclear construction arm. In Jan 2013, Toshiba exercised its option and purchased the 20% stake in Westinghouse that Shaw Group held. Soon after CB&I entered the picture, litigation activities increased as the parties involved in the construction project recognized that progress as a percentage of project completion was not being accurately reported. In October 2015, Westinghouse attempted to settle the conflicts by agreeing to purchase the portion of CB&I that was involved in the nuclear plant construction activities. CB&I’s statement describing the deal sounds almost like a sign of relief in terms of escaping from a difficult situation and pressing the risk onto a different organization. There are reports that Westinghouse executives, up through and including Danny Roderick, the CEO, pressed hard to get the deal approved. There is an unnamed whistleblower who claims that their desire to settle the conflicts and move forward came through as undue pressure to ignore some of the looming risks that were being accepted by Toshiba as part of the deal. Once again, Toshiba accepted larger risks than it knew about as a result of another purchase. Note: A version of the above was first published on Forbes.com at One Toshiba Lesson – Organizations With Venerable Corporate Names Can Be Risky Acquisitions. It is reprinted here with permission. The post One Toshiba Lesson – Organizations With Venerable Corporate Names Can Be Risky Acquisitions appeared first on Atomic Insights.


Lawless W.F.,Paine College | Akiyoshi M.,Senshu University | Whitton J.,British Nuclear Fuels Limited | Angjellari-Dajci F.,Paine College | Poppeliers C.,Georgia Regents University
Proceedings of the International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation, ICEM | Year: 2010

We review case studies of stakeholder participation in the environmental cleanup of radioactive wastes in the United States, Japan and United Kingdom (e.g., [21, 26, 27, 66, 78]). Citizen participation programs in these three countries are at different stages: mature in the US, starting in Japan, and becoming operational in the UK. The US issue at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina (SC) had been focused on citizens encouraging Federal (DOE; US Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA; and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC) and State (SC's Department of Health and Environmental Compliance, or DHEC) agencies to pursue "Plug-in-RODs" at SRS to simplify the regulations to accelerate closing seepage basins at SRS. In Japan, the Reprocessing of spent fuel and deep geological disposal of vitrified highlevel waste have been among Japan's priorities. A reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture is expected to commence operations in October 2010. The search of a site for a deep geological disposal facility has been ongoing since 2002. But the direct engagement of stakeholders has not occurred in Japan. Indirectly, stakeholders attempt to exert influence on decision-making with social movements, local elections, and litigation. In the UK, the issue is gaining effective citizen participation with the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). We hope that the case studies from these countries may improve citizen participation. © 2010 by ASME.


Islam M.M.,University of Warwick | Holland D.,University of Warwick | Howes A.P.,University of Warwick | Scales C.R.,British Nuclear Fuels Limited
Physics and Chemistry of Glasses: European Journal of Glass Science and Technology Part B | Year: 2010

The effects of the addition of divalent metal oxides on the structure and thermophysical properties of the mixed alkali borosilicate glass system used for high level radioactive waste immobilisation have been studied. Densities, molar volumes, linear thermal expansivities and glass transition temperatures are reported and structural information has been obtained using 11B and 29Si magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR. Molar volume is controlled by ion size and by the formation of network polyhedra, whilst thermal expansion reflects the network rigidity. Changes in the glass transition temperature, Tg, are consistent with the different values of the heat of formation of the oxides added. Alkaline earth oxides produce an initial increase in the fraction of 4-coordinated boron, N 4, whereas PbO and ZnO reduce N 4. 29Si NMR of the alkaline earth oxide glasses shows the presence of significant concentrations of nonbridging oxygens, consistent with a previous study of the aqueous corrosion behaviour of these glasses. PbO and ZnO reduce and ultimately eliminate the nonbridging oxygens. Estimates of the quantities of Q 4(Pb) have been made and are shown to change with composition in the same manner as Q 4(Me) in glasses with trivalent additions.


Carter S.,Hull Research and Technology Center | Fisher A.S.,University of Plymouth | Goodall P.S.,British Nuclear Fuels Limited | Hinds M.W.,Royal Canadian Mint | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2010

It is a noticeable trend over the last couple of review periods that the number and quality of nuclear applications has been increasing. That trend has continued into this year. Semiconductors and other electronic components continue to become smaller and utilise more pure materials; hence analysing them becomes more difficult. This is especially true when depth-resolved data is required. Techniques capable of analysing with ever increasing depth resolution are therefore necessary and many studies into this have been reported. There is still a large interest in the non-destructive analysis of archaeological or historical materials (glasses, ceramics, paintings etc.). The use of solid sampling techniques that cause minimal damage is therefore still gaining in popularity. This is especially true for laser-based techniques such as LIBS and laser ablation, although the many variants of the X-ray-based techniques are also still proving very popular. The increasing trend to use multiple analytical techniques, ideally simultaneously to cause minimal damage and to obtain the maximal number of results in the shortest time, is also noted. These attempts to obtain maximum information are, again, mainly true for historical artefacts where obtaining more analytical information will lead to a better understanding of provenance, manufacturing process, etc.The real time analysis being undertaken in engines and at coal fired boilers is also an interesting development. These real time analyses allow monitoring of the systems and enable any deviations from peak performance to be identified and corrected in the shortest time possible. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Quintanilla M.A.S.,British Nuclear Fuels Limited | Goddard D.T.,British Nuclear Fuels Limited
Wear | Year: 2010

In this work, Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM) has been used to measure the frictional characteristics of the contact of 20μ m glass beads and UO3 particles attached to silicon tapping mode cantilevers. The substrates used were glass, mica and UO2 single crystals cleaved to form flat surfaces. Flatness of the substrate is necessary to remove the influence of the topography of the substrate on the friction signal. Reverse imaging was used to ensure that the particles attached to the cantilevers were free from contamination and to detect any alteration to the particles surfaces such as wear. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) tapping mode images of the substrates acquired before and after the friction experiment were used to identify any wear of the substrates, or the presence of wear debris from the particles. The adhesion between particle and substrate was also measured during the experiment. Two kinds of wear mechanisms were identified: adhesive wear and abrasive wear. In the case of adhesive wear the particle was flattened, the adhesion increased during the experimental run and wear debris from the particle was left on the substrate after the experiment. In the case of abrasive wear, the particle excavated a groove in the substrate. The dependence of the friction and adhesion forces with the load force specific to the type of wear is discussed. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Carter S.,Hull Research and Technology Center | Fisher A.S.,University of Plymouth | Goodall P.S.,British Nuclear Fuels Limited | Hinds M.W.,Royal Canadian Mint | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2011

There is considerable interest in the non-destructive analysis of archaeological or historical materials (glasses, ceramics, paintings, materials etc.). The use of solid sampling techniques that cause minimal damage is therefore still gaining in popularity. This is especially true for laser-based techniques such as LIBS and laser ablation, although the many variants of the X-ray-based techniques are also still proving very popular. Non-destructive analysis is also the ideal scenario for forensic scientists and therefore many of these applications are using similar techniques. The increasing trend to use multiple analytical techniques, ideally simultaneously, to cause minimal damage and to obtain the maximal number of results in the shortest time, is also noted. The technique of LIBS, which offers minimal sample damage and a "stand-off" capability is still gaining in popularity, although there are still question marks regarding its quantitative capabilities for some sample types. There is also considerable interest in the growing area of thin films and depth-profiling. Substantial research is on-going to develop methods to improve depth-resolution and several different approaches have been described in the literature. These approaches often use SIMS with either a lower energy primary beam or a primary beam consisting of polyatomic molecules. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Patent
British Nuclear Fuels Limited | Date: 2010-08-20

The invention provides a method for the separation of solids from a semi-solid viscous mass, the method comprising treating a solids-containing semi-solid viscous mass in an apparatus comprising a separating member incorporating a substantially flat solid surface and a supporting member, wherein the separating member is adapted to selectively impart directional momentum to the solids, thereby facilitating separation of the solids from the semi-solid viscous mass. Preferably the separating member comprises a substantially flat solid surface adapted for vibrational motion, the vibrational motion causing the solids material to be displaced from the remainder of the semi-solid viscous mass.

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