Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  


New Vaults Signal Start Of Waste Clearance

24th March 2011

Photograph of New Vaults Signal Start Of Waste Clearance

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

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.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Connect and innovate at the NDA Estate Supply Chain event
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), in association with the Site Licence Companies (SLCs), invite you to ‘connect and innovate' at their fifth annual event.   Entry is free of charge to delegates and exhibitors.  
Nuclear Archive At WickThumbnail for article : Nuclear Archive At Wick
The PFR stone table with the inscription 'Out of Caithness to the World' will become the centre piece of the NDA Archive when it opens its doors in 2017.   Construction of the new facility has begun at Wick and was officially opened by David Flear, Dounreay Stakeholder Group chairman, when he cut the first turf at an opening ceremony in August.  
From Caithness to the World Thumbnail for article : From Caithness to the World
A ceremonial turf cutting ceremony marked the official start of building work on the new archive that will store nuclear records from across the UK.   David Flear, chairman of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, dug into the ground at the Wick site where the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's Nuclear Archive will start to take shape over the next 12 months.  
UKAEA secures role in Europe's new spallation sourceThumbnail for article : UKAEA secures role in Europe's new spallation source
UKAEA has been selected to supply the Hot Cell Remote Handling Facility for the new €1.8 billion European Spallation Source (ESS).   ESS is currently under construction in Sweden.  
Dounreay announces new managing director designateThumbnail for article : Dounreay announces new managing director designate
DSRL have announced the new managing director designate, Phil Craig.   With more than 20 years' experience in the nuclear industry, Phil’s career has focused on supporting the UK nuclear decommissioning, defence and existing power generation sectors.  
AREVA Awarded A Contract for Nuclear Site Decommissioning
The contract applies to twelve sites throughout the UK managed by the decommissioning company Magnox Ltd as well as the nuclear site at Dounreay in Caithness, Scotland, Radioactive Waste Management Limited's site in Harwell and the Low-Level Waste Repository in West Cumbria.   A number of segments make up the contrac.  
Removal of trapped fuel elements from the Dounreay Fast Reactor Thumbnail for article : Removal of trapped fuel elements from the Dounreay Fast Reactor
The removal of trapped fuel elements from the Dounreay Fast Reactor moved a step closer with the successful trial of bespoke equipment to lift off the top plate.   Decommissioning the 50-year-old experimental reactor is one of the most technically challenging projects in the NDA estate.  
NDA sets out Dounreay clean-up tasksThumbnail for article : NDA sets out Dounreay clean-up tasks
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the public body that owns Dounreay and funds its clean up, has published its annual business plan, setting out key tasks for the site licence company DSRL to deliver in the next 12 months.   These include: - Decontamination of Prototype Fast Reactor pond to meet regulatory requirements - Completion of construction of new fuel characterisation facilities - Material Test Reactor raffinate immobilisation complete - Continuous improvement in health, safety and environmental performance.  
NDA Sets Out SME Spending
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) estate has measured that over 21% of its spend is with SMEs.  This equates to over £330 million spent out of our total annual supply chain spend of £1.7 billion.  
Partnership agreement between North Highland College and Dounreay Site Restoration LtdThumbnail for article : Partnership agreement between North Highland College and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd
A NEW partnership agreement has been signed to develop and deliver training required at the Dounreay site during decommissioning work and help staff gain the qualifications they need to transfer to other employment sectors as the site closure progresses.   Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), responsible for the clean-up and demolition of Britain's former centre of fast reactor research and development, has established a memorandum of understanding with North Highland College UHI and the University of the Highlands and Islands to help close collaboration working and academic links across further and higher education and the nuclear industry.  

[Printer Friendly Version]