Dounreay meets target for liquid hazard reduction
4th September 2016
The last of the higher activity liquid waste produced during Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) fuel reprocessing has been made safe for future generations.
It is an important milestone in the immobilisation of the historic liquid waste, known as raffinate, created from reprocessing undertaken during the operation of Dounreay's three reactors.
The achievement comes just days after Dounreay announced that all of the reactor's liquid metal coolant had been destroyed.
Dounreay’s Waste Director, Bruce Covert, welcomed the news: "Encapsulation of 232 cubic metres of DFR raffinate is a significant achievement for the whole site, with the material grouted and suitable for long term storage in 875 drums.
"This is a good example of everyone at Dounreay working together as one team to safely deliver one programme, ensuring the project remained on schedule with minimal interruptions."
Nigel Lowe, NDA Head of Programme for Dounreay and Magnox, said: “This is a great milestone in a long line of Dounreay milestones. The team should be very proud of this achievement."
Batches of liquor were remotely transferred from underground tanks to a cementation plant. Here it was neutralised and mixed with cement powder inside 500-litre drums in a remote handling facility, making it passively safe for long-term storage or disposal.
The cementation plant will now undergo some engineering modifications and enhancements before the workforce begin to immobilise the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) raffinate.
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.
A major upgrade and expansion of Dounreay's Thurso town centre office has been completed. David Flear, Chair of Dounreay Stakeholder Group, officially reopened the building which sits at the entrance to the high street and has been the site's public information office for almost a decade.
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).
More than 30,000 bricks have been removed from three pits within a redundant facility as part of a project to decommission a former effluent treatment plant. A scaffold platform has been constructed to allow operators, wearing full airline suits, access to remove the bricks using small electrically operated hand tools.
Amec Foster Wheeluker has been awarded a contract to design and build a new effluent treatment plant at Dounreay. The agreement signals a landmark move for the Caithness site as the first to incorporate socio-economic commitments following the introduction of a new procurement policy earlier this year.
His Excellency, Mr Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, Mr Yosuki Ishigami from the Economic Section of the Japanese Embassy and Mr Daisuke Matsunaga, Consul General of Japan in Edinburgh visited Dounreay during a two-day visit to the north of Scotland as a guest of Dr Paul Monaghan MP. At Dounreay the group toured the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR), including the reactor hall.
Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded a contract to design and build a new effluent treatment plant at Dounreay. The agreement signals a landmark move for the Caithness site as the first to incorporate socio-economic commitments following the introduction of a new procurement policy earlier this year.
Dounreay has said "you're hired" to ten local newcomers who have started their careers at Dounreay this week. This makes it the 61st consecutive year that apprentices have joined the site.
An off the shelf CCTV camera is providing crystal clear images from the depths of Dounreay's Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR). Fifty years on from the construction of PFR, the reactor decommissioning team is viewing footage that will enable it to pull apart the innards of the second and last fast reactor to be built in the UK.
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