Work Begins on Railhead To Support Dounreay Closure
1st April 2012
Construction work is underway on a new railhead to support the closure of the redundant nuclear site at Dounreay.
The facility at Georgemas Junction on the far north rail line will enable fuel belonging to the UK to be returned to national stocks where it can be used to generate electricity.
DRS, the train operator developing the site, believes the development of a railhead in Caithness opens up opportunities for non-nuclear cargo to be moved in and out of the area.
Its executives are meeting business and community leaders to explore other potential markets.
Construction of the new multi-million pound facility will be complete by the summer.
Foreign nuclear fuel has been returned from Dounreay over the past decade.
Now, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is getting ready to return its fuel to UK stocks.
The first of 44 tonnes of breeder material is due to leave Dounreay later this year and will go via the new railhead to Sellafield.
DRS routinely moves nuclear fuel between Sellafield and UK power stations and the Georgemas railhead will extend its network to Caithness for the first time.
A decision on the remainder of the NDA fuel is due in the spring.
It is thought that the new railhead facilities may provide other opportunities for transport of goods in the area.
From DSRL web site
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This film, produced by AEA Technology in 1994, looks back on the history of the fast reactor development programme at Dounreay..
Progress across Dounreay's decommissioning programme is being showcased in a new film and brochure highlighting the team's successes during 2016-17. Some of the highest hazards that remained in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority estate, including liquid metal coolant from the Dounreay Fast Reactor, were reduced and destroyed during the year bringing to a successful conclusion projects that spanned many years.
The biggest networking event in Europe for nuclear decommissioning will be held in Manchester. 2 November 2017.
A planning application will be submitted to Highland Council later this year to cover the next phase of planning at the Dounreay site. Planning permission from 2018 to the shutdown of the site, also known as the interim end state, is the third phase of the planning required for the Dounreay decommissioning programme.
The clean-up of the nuclear estate is a key priority for both the Scottish and United Kingdom governments. Dounreay's decommissioning is well established with the site due to reach an interim end state by the early 2030s.
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A unique new archive, funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has opened its doors to the public for the first time, bringing together historical nuclear records from all over the UK. Speaking today at the Nucleus (Nuclear and Caithness Archive) in Wick, NDA chairman Stephen Henwood, said:Today we see a new chapter in the important role Caithness has played in the UK's nuclear history.
The first block of concrete has been removed from the structure of one of Dounreay's cooling ponds - representing a major first step in demolishing the redundant giant chamber. The pond is one of two concrete pits, six metres deep, which was used to store spent fuel from the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR).
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