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Five Consortia Short-Listed For £100 Million Contract

19th October 2004

Five consortia have been short-listed by UKAEA for the largest single construction project yet in the Dounreay Site Restoration Plan.

Subject to formal Ministerial approval, they will be invited to tender for the construction of a plant to condition and store a variety of liquid and solid intermediate-level wastes that are a legacy of Dounreay’s role as an experimental reactor establishment.

Following a change in strategy, proposals for the construction of three separate facilities to deal with these waste streams have been replaced by plans for a single, multi-purpose facility to accelerate the decommissioning of the site.

The new plant's primary role, subject to regulatory consents, will be to condition wastes arising from the clean-out of underground tanks used to store liquids from the historical reprocessing of fast reactor fuel. This waste accounts for almost 80 per cent of the radioactive waste hazard at Dounreay, and its treatment is the highest priority in the site restoration plan.

The plant will also solidify other liquid wastes, encapsulate solid waste from decommissioning in drums of cement, and provide interim storage for the conditioned waste pending a national strategy for its long-term storage or disposal.

The capital cost of the new facility is expected to be in the region of £100 million. This represents a saving to the taxpayer of some £200 million on the previous plan for three separate facilities. During the construction phase, in excess of 200 jobs are likely to be created.

Following a pre-qualification exercise, five consortia have been short-listed and they will be invited to tender for the construction of the plant. They are:

· Aker Kvaerner Engineering Services, Taylor Woodrow, Alstec and Serco
Assurance

· AMEC, British Nuclear Group, NIS Ltd and DGP International

· Kellog, Brown and Root, Sanderson Watts Associates, INBIS, RPS, Keir
Construction and Orion Engineering

· RWE NUKEM, AWG Construction, Babtie and Mitsui Babcock

· Washington Group, NNC, SembCorp Simon-Carves, Edmund Nuttall and RTS
Thurnhall.

Simon Middlemas, manager of new-build decommissioning projects at Dounreay, said: “This plant will be responsible for converting the largest single hazard on the Dounreay site to a form that makes it passively safe for long-term storage or disposal as solid intermediate-level waste.

"Our change in strategy means we can do this on an earlier timescale and at less cost to the taxpayer. We have been able to achieve this without compromise to our absolute commitments to safety, security and environmental protection through innovative thinking by our project team, their professionalism and commitment to engaging with stakeholders."

 

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