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Council welcomes Dounreay announcement

23rd November 2011

The Convener of The Highland Council Councillor Sandy Park, who is Chairman of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Advisory Board, has welcomed the NDA announcement that Babcock Dounreay Partnership is the preferred bidder in the competition to become the new PBO for Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd.

He said: "We want to work with the partnership to help diversify the economy of Caithness and North Sutherland. We have great confidence in the future of the area, evidenced by new investment including the 20m redevelopment of Scrabster Harbour and the 7m regeneration of John O'Groats along with the world-leading wave and tidal projects in the Pentland Firth.

"For the Council's part, we have an on-going commitment to the north in terms of a very significant investment in the schools estate at Wick, a new Council office for Wick and continued lobbying with Scottish Government and Transport Scotland for up-grading of the A9."

Babcock Dounreay Partnership is a consortium of Babcock International Group, CH2M HILL and URS.

Subject to legal, contractual and regulatory clearance, it will formally acquire the site licence company on April 2, 2012, from its existing parent body, UKAEA Ltd, part of Babcock International Group.

Today's announcement is the latest phase of competition for the clean-up of Britain's 20th century nuclear legacy.

Historically, the operation and start of decommissioning work at Dounreay was carried out by the UK Atomic Energy Authority, a non-departmental public body of the UK Government.

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd was formed in 2008 to enable this work to be competed, with the workforce previously employed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority moving across to the new site licence company.

In 2009, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority invited bids for a contract to complete the site clean-up, with the successful bidder acquiring DSRL as the site licence company with the necessary regulatory consents in place to carry out the work.

Commenting on the news that Babcock Dounreay Partnership has been named as the preferred bidder in the competition to become the new PBO for Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, Caithness Sutherland and Ross SNP MSP Rob Gibson said..

"I congratulate Babcock Dounreay Partnership on being named as the preferred bidder. They now face an important task in taking Dounreay as well as Caithness forward."

"What will be vitally important is that all parties work with and for the community. Their actions will closely scrutinised by many including myself."

"Babcock now will hold a critical role. It will help shape the future of Caithness I am sure they will be doing their best to make it happen. "

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