Waste Residues Characterisation

NNL provides a service to customers to help them understand and characterise wastes and residues stored on nuclear sites. Characterisation is often a requirement prior to transport or processing.

Our Service

Inspection and Sampling

Sampling in the field - NNL has extensive experience of material inspection and sampling gained during the assessment of over 40,000 drums and similar items

In-house sampling - over 5000 drums have been sampled and characterised using NNL's purpose built total enclosure which is equipped with a variety of industrial equipment for drum handling


Instrumental analysis

  • X -ray diffraction (XRD) analysis for identification of crystalline phases
  • Elemental analysis using "particle mapping" by Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) analysis
  • Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and related techniques, for detection and quantification of organic material
  • Infra-red (IR) spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry for the identification of organic compounds
  • Chemical testing - in some cases, small-scale chemical tests are performed, followed by a variety of instrumental and chemical analysis using our in-house UKAS accredited Measurement and Analysis team


Bulk physical characteristics include:

  • Wet, damp or dry
  • Free flowing or "sticky"
  • Density
  • Presence of free liquor, oils, tramp, bags
  • Homogeneity or heterogeneity
  • Storage container and its condition

 Bulk chemical composition:

  • Semi-quantitative for major components
  • Qualitative for minor components

Potential processing and material handling issues are highlighted at an early stage, avoiding investment in expensive or inappropriate plant and processes.


Email: customers@nnl.co.uk 

Waste Residues Characterisation