Scottish Minister Gets Updated On Decommisioning At Dounreay
17th July 2008
Scottish Government Minister Richard Lochhead today visited Dounreay to see for himself how waste from the shutdown and clean-up of Scotland's biggest nuclear site is being managed. Richard Lochhead is the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.
The fact-finding visit took him inside the site's fuel cycle area to witness the dismantling of plants that once supported Britain's nuclear research programme.
Decommissioning of these facilities between now and 2025 is expected to result in up to 175,000 cubic metres of low-level radioactive waste and almost 15,000 cubic metres of intermediate-level radioactive waste.
Mr Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, visited plants that are processing this waste and getting it into a form that is safe for long-term storage or disposal.
He also visited the shaft, an historic waste disposal site for intermediate-level waste that will be emptied as part of the site clean-up, and was updated on plans to begin clearing particles from the most affected area of seabed near Dounreay.
Mr Lochhead was accompanied by Stephen Henwood, chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The NDA owns Dounreay and funds its clean-up.
Later, the Minister met community representatives in Thurso where he was briefed on progress to regenerate the local economy. A key feature is the development of a new power station harnessing the tidal energy of the Pentland Firth.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd managing director Simon Middlemas, who hosted the visit, said: "Turning the historic collection of redundant nuclear research facilities at Dounreay into conditioned waste that is safe for future generations is one of the most demanding clean-up projects in the nuclear industry today, so I was delighted to be able to show the progress we are making.
"Equally, having seen the efforts we are making to close down one industry, it was important that the Minister saw the efforts being made by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and others to generate new industry that can sustain the area in the longer term, particular the exciting opportunities in tidal energy that the site is supporting."
Shaft decommissioning project manager Warren Jones (left) with the Minister (second left) and NDA chairman Stephen Henwood (right)
Roc Technologies Awarded 5-year Strategic IT Transformation and Managed Service Partnership by Dounreay. Roc Technologies recently announced it has been awarded a 5-year contract to transform and manage IT services by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd(Dounreay).
Roc Technologies today announced it has been awarded a 5-year contract to transform and manage IT services by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd(Dounreay). Dounreay is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cavendish Dounreay Partnership Ltd, a consortium of Cavendish Nuclear, Jacobs and AECOM and funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to deliver the site closure programme at Dounreay.
More than 200 people packed into the Weigh Inn hotel in Thurso this week as Dounreay Site Restoration Limited and supply chain partners shared plans and ideas about the decommissioning of the site. Leading nuclear firms mixed with numerous small and medium sized enterprises for the event which was attended by those who either support the site through existing framework contracts or have registered for the innovative ‘LINC with Dounreay' scheme.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) welcomed Lord Duncan of Springbank, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Scotland Office, to its Dounreay site to see decommissioning progress. Lord Duncan travelled to Caithness to learn more about work on Scotland's largest nuclear clean-up and demolition project.
Decommissioning a nuclear reactor is about more than removing the core itself and, around a decade after work started to pull apart a host of support facilities associated with Dounreay's oldest reactor, they have all gone. Radioactive facilities, including a cooling pond, storage compound and examination cells assisted Dounreay Materials Test Reactor (DMTR) during its operational life.
Work has started to make safe one of the most hazardous materials left at Dounreay. Highly radioactive liquid, known as raffinate, has been stored in tanks for around 20 years after being produced as a by-product of Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) fuel reprocessing.
Construction of a new facility to support the decommissioning of reactors and demolition of historic active laboratories are just two of Dounreay's major projects expected to be delivered as part of a new framework agreement, potentially worth up to £400 million, which is being published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) today. - www.ojeu.eu The decommissioning services framework agreement will initially be for a period of up to 4 years with the possibility of extensions of up to 3 years meaning skyline changes could be delivered over the next decade under the arrangements.
Engineers at Dounreay have raided a scrap car and a kitchen can opener to help decommission one of the site's reactors. The handbrake from a vintage 1968 Ford Cortina has been used to help steer a camera, attached to wheels taken from can openers, into the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) where a detailed survey inside the plant was completed.
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.
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