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Dounreay Bulletin - Issue 16

12th December 2007

Demolition has started on the first of Dounreay's redundant nuclear fuel plants. The fuel fabrication facility manufactured more than 10,000 fuel elements for research material test reactors in the UK and abroad, until it was shut down in 2004. Now, three years later, radioactive material has been removed, active plant has been dismantled and removed, and the building decontaminated. The building will be reduced to rubble over the next five weeks. More:

The western end of the Dounreay site has lost a familiar landmark with the dismantling of the silo crane cover building. The three-storey high grey metal clad building was a noticeable feature of Dounreay's skyline, situated half way between DFR and PFR. Its removal will allow the next phase of the silo waste retrieval programme to begin. More:

Clean up work in the Dounreay Cementation Plant is progressing well. The recovery team have now successfully removed the spilled cement powder and liquid that had solidified on the floor of the main handling cell. The plant is expected to reopen in the spring and resume its work to reduce one of the biggest radiation hazards at the site - waste liquors from the reprocessing of research reactor fuel. More:

Earlier this year a group of Dounreay managers spent a week long workshop with CH2MHill and SA Robotics staff in Denver to review the intermediate level waste strategy for Dounreay. John Smith, UKAEA's waste and fuels strategy and compliance project manager, said: "Since the workshop in Denver, the Dounreay team has produced an integrated intermediate level waste strategy, making best use of current facilities and streamlining the plans for new facilities and store. In the long term it should reduce the cost and plant required to deal with certain liquid and solid radioactive waste." More:

Dounreay has joined a growing number of businesses which are members of North Scotland Industries Group. The group was set up to develop the potential of commercial opportunities in the oil and gas, renewables and nuclear decommissioning sectors. Dounreay's Ron Peddie and Richie Jones attended an NSIG Caithness and Orkney focus group meeting held in November. More:

Dounreay's ground-breaking work to involve the public in decisions about site clean-up has been recognised by the International Atomic Energy Agency. June Love, deputy communications manager, was invited to contribute to a technical guidance paper on stakeholder engagement for decommissioning sites and in November travelled to Vienna with colleagues from Denmark, England and Bulgaria to finalise the paper, which is due for publication next summer. Fifteen countries have contributed to the paper.

The Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment has published its report of field trials carried out at Dunnet beach in June this year to test the performance of particle detection systems. The report confirms that the system in use meets the current requirements of the regulator and scans deeper in the sand than its predecessor. See:

A report of the Caithness Conference held recently to consider the economy of the area post-decommissioning has now been published. See:

The latest edition of the monthly site newspaper Dounreay News features a fire training exercise involving site and local crews, a profile of safety reps, a guest column by Rob Gibson MSP and a question-and-answer about UKAEA Ltd. See:

Back in the summer, Dounreay held an environmental photographic competition for staff as part of Environment Week. The competition produced some beautiful, high quality pictures that have now been used to create a 2008 calendar, with the net proceeds going to Wateraid. Wateraid is the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's chosen charity. Its mission is to overcome poverty by enabling the world's poorest people to find clean, safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.

The calendar can be purchased from the site communications department at at 7 Trail Street, Thurso, (tel: 01847 806080) or Jim Bews, Thurso. At just 3.50 it's very reasonably priced and would make an ideal Christmas present.


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