Amazon Filters Ltd., a F4N (Fit For Nuclear) approved manufacturer of Nuclear filtration products, has received a major order from Magnox – the management and operations contractor responsible for 12 nuclear sites and 1 hydroelectric plant in the UK.
The order, received as a result of a public tender, was for the manufacture of vent filter assemblies to be used on nuclear waste storage containers used to isolate radioactive waste until it is safe for disposal.
To make these nuclear waste storage containers suitable for use, it is necessary to fit a vent filter assembly to prevent any pressure build-up of flammable gases in the package and to eliminate the passage of any contaminated dust.
Working from an established stainless-steel vent filter assembly design – Magnox sought a partner to productionise and supply a large number of these units in order to meet their operational requirements. The brief called for validation of the production manufacturing techniques to ensure the vent unit was survivable against severe impacts, along with testing of all production units to ensure that each one met the permeability and particulate retentive qualities required.
Following a lengthy evaluation process, Amazon Filters was chosen by Magnox as the successful vendor – as it was able to meet quality, production and schedule requirements, while also being able to offer a cost saving over the incumbent vendor, helping to deliver improved value for the UK taxpayer.
Given the criticality of the vent filter duty – full traceability of all materials and manufacturing routings were required to ensure the highest level of assurance that each unit is constructed from agreed grades of material from validated sources, put together using the highest levels of workmanship. This is necessary given that key components would not be visible for inspection after manufacture. Manufacture using CNC machining and the latest automated welding equipment by Amazon Filters guarantees consistency of product and a perfect fit to container lids.
In order to validate that each assembly met the key requirements of allowing gas to pass while preventing radioactive particulate to enter the environment and endanger life, two critical tests will be conducted by Amazon Filters on every unit prior to delivery; A ‘bubble point’ and air permeability test ensures each unit will allow air to flow in both directions to pore size, thus preventing the build-up of dangerous high pressure in the container and filtration to exact pore size specification.