Up To 200 Jobs To Go At Dounreay
13th April 2017
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.
An inevitable consequence of making progress is that jobs will gradually reduce. With a number of projects due to be completed and a different mix of skills required for the next phase of work, some staff are being given the opportunity to volunteer for redundancy. Around 10-15% of staff are expected to be allowed to leave under voluntary arrangements during the next year or so.
Safety, security and the environment remain our highest priorities and this will not be permitted to distract from, or impact on, those.
Workforce reductions have long been prepared for with more than £10 million invested by Dounreay and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in strategic socio-economic projects in the last decade and more to follow. This has helped leverage more than £35 million of additional funding, which is creating new and sustainable jobs in Caithness and North Sutherland.
The company will work with trade unions and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect throughout the process.
In a letter issued on 12th April 2017 Phil Craid, Managing Director of Dounreay says "Our expectation is that we wil reduce the work force by around 200 roles in the next year or so, which will include up to 150 DSRL employees leaving under voluntary arrangements with the remainder from the agency and contract workforce largely associated with projects which are due to end. The final number will be dependent on factors including, but not limited to the amount of volunteers, cost and business need."
Dounreay Site Restoration Limited has submitted a planning application to the Highland Council covering a series of decommissioning projects expected to take place between 2018 and the site's shut down, also known as the interim end state. The application, which is the last of three planning phases covering the overall decommissioning of the site, follows engagement undertaken earlier this year including public events and an opportunity to comment on draft documents online.
Drone technology is helping Dounreay reduce the risk of accidents and save money on its inspection of buildings. A camera mounted on an unmanned aerial vehicle is taking over tasks previously carried out by workers on elevated work platforms.
Work is underway to retrieve the last remaining radioactive fuel elements that have been stuck for decades inside the iconic Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR). The experimental dome-shaped nuclear reactor once led the world in fast breeder technology and after it closed in 1977 most of the core fuel was removed.
Eleven young people who have completed their Dounreay apprentice training are "very much a part of the future of the far north." Guest speaker Jamie Stone MP told the audience at the apprentice indenture ceremony that took place last Friday that, as Dounreay continues to decommission, the newly indentured apprentices would be an important part of the area's ability to offer a skilled and innovative workforce. Dounreay Managing Director and former nuclear industry apprentice Phil Craig added: “I am very proud that we are celebrating yet another group of talented apprentices.
Companies are being invited to LINC together and support Scotland's largest decommissioning project thanks to an innovative new scheme designed to increase the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) delivering clean-up work at Dounreay. Up to five companies will be invited to help understand and develop the best proposal for size-reducing all of the machinery and components that will need to be removed from Dounreay's Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) - the largest to be built at the Caithness site.
Graduates from as far afield as Portugal and London arrived in Caithness last week to kick start their career at Dounreay. Ten new recruits have started on the two-year graduate scheme with educational backgrounds as diverse as engineering, law and digital forensics and ethical hacking.
It is 60 years this weekend since the first criticality was achieved in Scotland using a test rig at Dounreay. Now the decommissioning team responsible for the site is marking that milestone by taking a major step towards demolishing the oldest reactor that remains at the former fast reactor research centre.
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.
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