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FOUR YEARS ACCIDENT-FREE FOR REACTOR DECOMMISSIONING TEAM Safety has become a way of life in dismantling the Dounreay Fast Reactor. Four years without a lost time accident is no mean feat in any industry, but this achievement has been all the sweeter with the knowledge of the enormous range of work undertaken at DFR and the mix of people employed.
Exhibitions about radioactive particles in the marine environment near Dounreay will open in Caithness next week. The exhibitions will provide an update of information on the work carried out to date and provide information on a short list of eleven clean-up options identified.
NONE IN A MILLION - DOUNREAY REACHES SAFETY MILESTONE Dounreay has clocked up a million man-hours without a lost time accident. With more construction and demolition work taking place than ever before, this is an excellent achievement.
PLUG REINFORCED TO ENABLE SHAFT TO BE DECOMMISSIONED The second stage of the Shaft Isolation Project is complete and has achieved its objective. A section of the liquid effluent discharge tunnel which passes close to the base of the shaft was required to be in-filled with grout in advance of the installation of the main shaft isolation barrier.
A new €10 billion international project to harness fusion energy can offer major opportunities for Scottish companies. That will be the message to a delegation from the Scottish Executive when they visit the headquarters of the UK's fusion research programme on Monday 11th December.
Yet another pioneering invention has successfully allowed the crucial next phase of decommissioning Dounreay's Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) to begin. The innovative purpose built device, which resembles an extremely long flexible drill, enables pockets of liquid metal to be drained from deep inside the redundant reactor.
The third report of the Dounreay Particles Advisory Group states that the possibility of coming into direct contact with a particle at Sandside is extremely small and would not cause any discernable health effect. As a result existing signs, which were erected by the estate, were removed at the weekend by the estate of its own choice.
Scotland is in danger of relying on luck to solve environmental challenges. This stark message comes from leading academic Professor Mike Hulme of the internationally recognised Tyndall Centre on Climate Change Research.
UKAEA ANNOUNCES SEABED CLEAN-UP TRIALS UKAEA on November 21 announced plans to undertake trials of remotely-operated technology that could be used to remove substantial numbers of particles from the seabed at Dounreay. A notice placed in the Official Journal of the European Union seeks expressions of interest from companies capable of detecting and removing fragments of irradiated nuclear fuel known to be buried in the offshore sediment near the site's old effluent discharge outlet.
UKAEA has announced plans to undertake trials of remotely operated technology that could be used to remove substantial numbers of particles from the seabed at Dounreay. A notice placed in the Official Journal of the European Union seeks expressions of interest from companies capable of detecting and removing fragments of irradiated nuclear fuel known to be buried in the offshore sediment near the site's old effluent discharge outlet.
A project manager is being recruited to take forward proposals for a Nuclear Skills Academy Scotland. The proposed skills academy is being drawn up in partnership between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, North Highland College UHI Millennium Institute and UKAEA Dounreay, which are jointly funding the project manager role.
LOOKING AT THE FINAL SITE OPTIONS On behalf of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, UKAEA has published a consultation document detailing the feasible options for the condition of the site when decommissioning is complete. While a final decision on the future use of the land does not need to be made for a number of years community views are being sought now to allow the NDA and its contractor UKAEA to finalise their plans for decommissioning the site with greater certainty.
Following the installation of the 25 tonne crane that is now impressively taking centre stage high over the partially clad building, the interior construction work is rapidly progressing and the layout of the pioneering plant to remove the breeder elements from DFR is beginning to take shape. A site inspector and an assessor from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) have recently accompanied members of the project team to the offices of SGN in Cherbourg, the French company appointed to design, manufacture and install the process cell.
A panel of experts has identified a short-list of 11 feasible combinations of options for addressing the legacy of radioactive particles in the marine environment around Dounreay. The options will be detailed for the first time tonight at the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso when Phil Cartwright (UKAEA) and Paul Dale (SEPA) will provide an update on the recent work undertaken to understand the extent of the contamination and the human health aspects respectively.
GROUP PUBLISHES SOCIO ECONOMIC STRATEGY. A working group chaired by John Thurso MP and comprising of key stakeholders in the economy around Dounreay has completed its work with the publication of a strategy for addressing the social and economic consequences of site closure.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is pleased that a clear policy framework for managing higher activity radioactivity wastes in the UK has been decided upon. Today's (Wednesday 25 October) announcement by the UK Government and devolved administrations in response to the recommendations made by the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) foresees this type of radioactive waste being managed in the long term by means of geological disposal and, until such a facility exists, it will be stored in safe and secure interim facilities.
UKAEA Dounreay today published updated figures about employment at the site and projections of reducing manpower needs as more of the fast reactor experiment is cleaned out and demolished. The report - available on-line here states: Current employment levels of approximately 2000 are expected to reduce by 500 over the next five years.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is distributing, under licence, initial copies of this map to organisations, including the Scottish Executive, local authorities and emergency services. The map gives an indication of the areas in Scotland potentially at risk of flooding from either rivers or the sea, or both.
The third Area Waste Plan Annual Reports published today reveal how local authorities are helping to tackle waste produced throughout each area in Scotland. The reports, which are available on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) website, are broken down into the 11 individual waste plan areas.
PRINCESS ANNE TO OPEN TEST CENTRE. Princess Anne is to officially open Britain's first purpose-built nuclear clean-up test, trials, training, research and development centre as part of a visit to Caithness on Tuesday, October 10.