Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 15:38 UK

Nuclear clean up uses Mr Muscle

Decontaminating a glass tube
Workers wore protective suits during the clean up

Workers decommissioning a nuclear power complex have found Mr Muscle to be more effective than specialised techniques for cleaning contaminated glass tubes.

The household cleaning product was used at Dounreay in Caithness, which is being demolished at a cost of £2.5bn.

Hi-tech equipment had been developed to destroy radioactive materials.

However, Mr Muscle was found to be the best option to help make safe the tubes which were used at a nuclear reprocessing laboratory.

Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said various options were looked at for the disposal of the glass columns, some 10m long.

Crushing was tried and abandoned due to the potential for the spread of contamination.

Eventually, the decommissioning project team found that the best option was to decontaminate the columns and dispose of them as low level waste.

To clean the glass it was sprayed with a glue and this was then removed with Mr Muscle.

Workers performed the operation in protective overalls.

Following the decontamination process the glass columns were packed into industrial containers for future storage in a low-level waste dump.

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