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Innovative Surface Preparation Solutions / Ultra High Pressure Water and Wet Abrasive Specialists
Nuclear Industry

Aquablast UHP in the Nuclear Decommissioning and Decontamination Industry Aquablast has been supplying the UK nuclear decommissioning and decontamination industry with Ultra High Pressure (UHP) water blasting and water cutting systems at up 3,800 bar (55,000 psi) operating pressure since 1990.

The company designs, manufactures, supplies and hires UHP systems for a wide range of specialist tasks within the nuclear industry and this has included a number of ground-breaking applications of very high pressure water technology.

Aquablast has drawn strongly on it's 18 years of experience pioneering the introduction of UHP water into many industrial sectors to provide innovative solutions for a number of costly cleaning and disposal problems in the nuclear industry.

Aquablast UHP technology can gently massage away very light coatings or cut away very heavy epoxy type coatings, heavy rust or scale and surface removal of various metals including stainless steel.

Principal UHP water applications in general industry include:


Steel surface preparation to bright metal standards without abrasives for re-painting on flat surfaces and external and internal pipework


Concrete scabbling and laitance removal


Heat Exchanger Tube Bundle Cleaning


Removal of heavy, thick coatings and claddings such as rubber, bitumen, plastic, glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), composites, waterproof membranes and wooden decking


Fast, precise water jet cutting of steel, concrete and composite materials by the entrainment of abrasives into the UHP water stream


Much of the experience gained operating a substantial UHP equipment rental fleet in general industry was translatable into solutions for decontamination and decommissioning tasks.

Primary attractions of the technology particularly suitable for the nuclear industry are:


Exceptionally low water consumption - as low as one litre per minute


Exceptionally low abrasive consumption for cutting - often less than 0.5 Kg per minute


Reliable operation at pressures as high as 60,000 psi (4000 bar) achieving highly successful decontamination results


User friendly lightweight application tooling with very low reaction forces typically 12-25 lbs force (55 - 110N)


High Speed Rotary fluid swivels operating from 100 to 4000 bar pressure and from 100 to 4000 rpm enabling precise control of surface removal depth


Multi connection quick release couplings; changeable manually or by MSM


Aerosol removal systems for in-cell use


Deep single pass cutting ability to 300mm with abrasives


Underwater cutting and cleaning capability


No sparks, flames or aggressive chemicals employed


These features have successfully contributed to:


Substantial reduction in arisings from cutting or decontamination operations


Large savings in packaging, transportation and disposal costs


Easy integration with remote deployment tools and MSM's


Sales of purpose built Aquablast UHP Systems

Projects in the United Kingdom have included:


Berkeley Power Station (Magnox)


Remotely deployed UHP concrete scabbling power pack and tools for decontaminating storage pond walls. Incorporated trailer mounted 35,000 psi power pack for versatility - the Aquablast unit could therefore be used for a wide variety of other decontamination tasks on site.

Successful decontamination of fuel rod storage caskets resulting in free release for scrapping.

Skip Cleaning - projects included removal of System 6 coatings from storage skips.


AEA Technology


Trailer mounted 35,000 psi unit with 60,000 psi module - permitted general UHP de-scaling and decontamination key aspect of Aquablast is perfected over the last five years reliable UHP up to as high as 60,000 psi.

Ability to pump reliably 60,000 psi very advantageous where minimal use of water is vital - typically water flows average only 4 litres per minute.

4 litre 60,000 psi unit supplied as part of decommissioning package for material sampling from reactor enclosures in marine power plants.


Magnox / BNFL


HP decontamination of large bore pond cooling pipework (12" - 15 inch) with self propelled centralising water jet assemblies designed and built in house.

Successful trials on small bore tubing. Designed equipment to allow access through multiple elbowed pipework. Tube cleaning capability inside inch tubing.




Design and installation of system for cleaning slave ends of MSM and crane modules.


Hunterston Power Station


Supply of UHP equipment for general purpose decontamination cell..

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