Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Dounreay Prepares To Become Site Licence Company

27th March 2008

BREAKTHROUGHS IN HAZARD REDUCTION AS DOUNREAY PREPARES TO BECOME SITE LICENCE COMPANY

UKAEA is on course to hand over the clean-up of Dounreay to a subsidiary company on April 1 on the back of significant progress during March to reduce the major hazards at the site.

The site has reported breakthroughs in all three areas where funds from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are prioritised towards major hazard reduction.

At the Prototype Fast Reactor, all 1500 tonnes of hazardous liquid sodium metal has now been drained from the reactor circuits, with 50 tonnes or so still to be destroyed in a purpose-built chemical treatment plant. This is on course for completion in June.

At the Dounreay Fast Reactor, the first trial batches of hazardous liquid metal from the primary circuit have been destroyed successfully during the active commissioning phase of a purpose-built chemical treatment plant. Subject to regulatory consent to begin full operation, it is expected to take two years to complete the destruction of the sodium-potassium.

In the Fuel Cycle Area, a plant that converts hazardous liquor to solid intermediate-level waste has been repaired. Test runs have started in preparation for agreement to resume full production of cemented drums. A second plant is planned to accelerate the reduction of this major hazard.

The breakthroughs in hazard reduction have occurred at the same time as the site has submitted proposals to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to bring forward the completion date for site closure from 2032 to 2025.

On April 1, subject to completion of due process, UKAEA will be restructured to enable the clean-up of its former research sites to be competed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. A new site licence company, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, will take over responsibility for the clean-up at Dounreay.

Simon Middlemas, the managing director-designate of Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, said: "The progress we are making across the site on hazard reduction underlines our commitment to decommission Dounreay as quickly as it is safe to do so.

"We carried out a major reorganisation two years ago, with the twin objectives of getting a sharper focus on hazard reduction and paving the way to become a stand-alone site company. In the past month, we have really started to see the benefits of this, with significant breakthroughs across the site and the workforce now ready to begin work on April 1 as employees of a new company, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. At the same time, our safety performance has improved steadily.

"We know there are areas we need to improve, not least in how we communicate our environmental performance. We know, too, that there will be other hazards to face as we clean out more of the other experimental facilities in the months and years ahead.

"But I'm confident, based on our recent performance, we have a team here who can continue to set the pace in the safe and efficient decommissioning of the nuclear legacy."

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Radiation dose to public from Dounreay reducesThumbnail for article : Radiation dose to public from Dounreay reduces
Dounreays radioactive impact on the environment continues to fall, according to a report.  The annual survey report Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (RIFE 2012) has recently been published and it can be read here - http://www.sepa.org.uk/radioactive_substances/publications/rife_reports.aspx The report uses data obtained from samples of air, fresh water, grass, soil, and locally sourced meat, fish, milk and vegetables during 2012.  
57,000 Tonnes Of Hazardous Materials Finally Dealt With At Dounreay
Dounreay today completed the destruction of one of the most hazardous legacies of Britain's earliest atomic research.  A purpose-built chemical plant processed the last of 57,000 litres of liquid metal lifted from the primary cooling circuit of the experimental fast breeder reactor.  
Dounreay Dome Paint Job ScrappedThumbnail for article : Dounreay Dome Paint Job Scrapped
Bosses at Dounreay agreed that they won't now be spending 500,000 on a repaint of the sphere.   They money saved will go instead towards actual decommissioning work.  
Clean-up Reveals 6000 Years Of Human HistoryThumbnail for article : Clean-up Reveals 6000 Years Of Human History
Getting rid of Britain's 20th century experiment with fast breeder nuclear reactors is illuminating the history of human settlement on Scotland's north coast stretching back 6000 years.   Archaeologists hired as part of the closure of the nuclear site at Dounreay have pieced together the legacy left by previous generations who occupied the site as long ago as 4000BC.  
New Report Lists Radioactive Wastes At DounreayThumbnail for article : New Report Lists Radioactive Wastes At Dounreay
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has published the latest edition of the UK's radioactive waste inventory.   This sets out the type and volumes of radioactive waste at sites such as Dounreay, as of April 1, 2010.  
Nuclear Shutdown Cash Boost For School Skills
Cash from the closure of the fast reactor site at Dounreay is set to breed a new generation of engineers and scientists in the Scottish Highlands.   The money from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will fund half the cost of a 50,000 project to increase the number of school-leavers skilled in science, technology, engineering and maths.  
New Vaults Signal Start Of Waste ClearanceThumbnail for article : New Vaults Signal Start Of Waste Clearance
The clearance of tens of thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste from the redundant nuclear site at Dounreay today moved a step closer.   Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd announced the formal award of a contract to develop a disposal site for low-level waste from the decommissioning and closure of the site.  
Ex UKAEA Boss Appointed To Crown Estates Board
THE CROWN ESTATE REAPPOINTS CHRIS BARTRAM, AND APPOINTS DIPESH SHAH OBE AND ANTHONY WHITE AS NON-EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS The Crown Estate has announced yesterday, 22 December 2010, the re-appointment of Chris Bartram and the appointment of Dipesh Shah and Anthony White as Non-Executive Board Members.   Chris Bartram, who has held the appointment as Crown Estate Board Member for four years has been reappointed for a further four year term with effect from 1 January 2011.  
Dounreay Boss Welcomed Funding Announcement
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd recently welcomed an announcement about how much public money will be available to continue nuclear clean-up in the UK.   DSRL manages the closure of the site on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which today confirmed that its total expenditure, including income generated, would be maintained at current levels of around 3bn a year.  
French Nuclear Experts At Dounreay
Four experts from the Autorit de Suret Nucleaire, the French nuclear safety inspectorate, spent a day at Dounreay discussing the decommissioning of alkali metal cooled fast reactors.   The visit was hosted by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate as part of international collaboration over nuclear health and safety matters.  

[Printer Friendly Version]