New Vaults Signal Start Of Waste Clearance
24th March 2011
The clearance of tens of thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste from the redundant nuclear site at Dounreay today moved a step closer.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd announced the formal award of a contract to develop a disposal site for low-level waste from the decommissioning and closure of the site.
GRAHAM Construction will build the first two of up to six underground vaults capable of taking up 175,000m3 of radioactive debris from the clean-out and demolition of Britain's 20th century experiment with fast breeder reactors.
Low level waste accounts for more than 80 per cent by volume of the radioactive waste that will be produced during demolition of the site, but less than 0.01 per cent by radioactivity.
Since decommissioning started over a decade ago, approximately 11,500m3 of low-level waste has been processed and accumulated on the site.
The scheduled opening of the first vault in 2013, subject to regulatory and other consents, will herald the beginning of waste clearance from the site.
The disposal site is located adjacent to the redundant nuclear site on land owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
GRAHAM is expected to move its team into position in September and start ground excavation in October.
Approximately 140,000 metres of rock will be removed to make way for each vault.
Some of the rock from later phases will be crushed and recycled as aggregate to landscape the flattened nuclear plant, reducing the total bill for site restoration by several million pounds.
Some 8000 tonnes of aggregate made from the crushed rubble of buildings already razed is being used to build the roads and hardstanding areas at the new waste disposal site.
DSRL project manager Audrey Cooper said: "We're aggressively reducing the amount of waste we generate in the first place through new, more efficient ways to decommission and better ways to segregate and reduce the volume of contaminated waste. We expect this to reduce the total size of the facility we will need to build and bring down the cost to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority even further."
GRAHAM's contract is for the first phase of the project - the design and construction of two vaults - and is valued at approximately £13 million.
Leo Martin, Director at GRAHAM, said: "The contract to design and build the new low level waste disposal facility at Dounreay is an important one for GRAHAM and it is our firm intention that the delivery of this project makes a positive contribution to the Caithness economy.
"We are therefore actively seeking to foster local involvement and enterprise through the use of local labour, equipment and materials and will aim to utilise the skills and experience of local small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) wherever possible.
"We will be working hard with DSRL over the coming months on the design of the facilities and aim to commence on site this autumn."
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is investing £4 million in a community benefit fund attached to the development. The first payment of £1 million is due when construction starts in October.
Graham Construction web site www.graham.co.uk/
Graham Construction Ltd is an Irish company that has expanded across the UK with bases in Edinburgh and Glasgow. They employ almost 400 staff in Scotland mainly in the two main Scottish cities.
They have recently been awarded the conartract by Highland Council to build the new Aviemore Primary School at a cost of £11.9 million. The turf cutting ceramony too place for that contract on 23 March 2011.
Pre-qualification to find a contractor to build a new national nuclear archive in Wick has commenced, it has been announced. The total cost of the new archive is in the region of Â£17 million.
Almost 800 delegates have already signed up to attend the NDA estate's 2014 event for suppliers in November - but there is still room for several hundred more visitors. The exhibition hall meanwhile is approaching full capacity, providing delegates with the opportunity to meet with 260 companies from across the supply chain.
The NDA estate's showcase event for suppliers is returning for a fourth year and is looking forward to welcoming even more visitors and exhibitors. More than 1,000 delegates from across the country attended the 2013 event, including existing supply chain members and decommissioning newcomers.
Wick Harbour Authority is making progress with its plans to create a heavy-lift facility on the commercial quay at Wick harbour, with contractors Gunns Lybster Ltd having now begun the work. The project, and its associated dredging works, was supported by CNSRP partners HIE and NDA respectively and is the first of several proposed phases of work to position the harbour as a key player in the energy sector, with the current focus being on potential to benefit from the development of Offshore Wind in the Moray Firth.
Dounreay’s radioactive impact on the environment continues to fall, according to a report. The annual survey report “Radioactivity in Food and the Environment” (RIFE 2012) has recently been published and it can be read here - http://www.sepa.org.uk/radioactive_substances/publications/rife_reports.aspx The report uses data obtained from samples of air, fresh water, grass, soil, and locally sourced meat, fish, milk and vegetables during 2012.
Crucial milestones were achieved in the clean-up of the UK's nuclear legacy last year, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has revealed in its annual report and accounts. Progress was generally good across the NDA's 19 licensed sites, with achievements during 2012/13 including:.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has this week published its 2013-16 Business Plan which sets out its delivery priorities for the period as it continues to focus on accelerating hazard reduction across its 19-site estate. The focus at Sellafield will remain on driving forward further progress across the site including a programme of major projects required to decommission the high hazard legacy ponds and silos, while also working towards the completion of the contracts at both the Magnox and Thorp reprocessing plants by the end of the decade.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced a decision to proceed with the next phase of the National Nuclear Archive project, which will see a new purpose built archive facility constructed at Wick to provide long-term storage of records and other archive material from civil nuclear sites in the UK. The archive will be operated on NDA’s behalf by a specialist commercial partner and is expected to bring more than 20 sustainable jobs to the town.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority says significant acceleration in the clean-up and shutdown of Dounreay will bring real value to the taxpayer who funds the work. Its chief executive John Clarke, writing in the organisation's annual report published today, says the award of the site closure contract earlier this year was a milestone in the NDA's mission to clean up the UK's nuclear legacy and bring down the cost.
Dounreay today completed the destruction of one of the most hazardous legacies of Britain's earliest atomic research. A purpose-built chemical plant processed the last of 57,000 litres of liquid metal lifted from the primary cooling circuit of the experimental fast breeder reactor.
[Printer Friendly Version]