Airline Suit Work Restarts In Redundant Laboratories At Dounreay
4th June 2021
Airline suit work has restarted at Dounreay after more than a year's delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wearing an airline suit is cumbersome and the wearer needs to be dressed and undressed by a dedicated team of helpers who then provide support throughout the task. Work was put on hold in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in social distancing being introduced, and the safety of Dounreay's workforce became of paramount importance. Now, as restrictions are being lifted, the site is able to restart projects where hazardous conditions require the wearing of airline suits.
The team that has been decommissioning the redundant low level effluent treatment plant is supporting the refresher training of their colleagues. Project Manager Mick O’Donnell said:
They are supporting the practical airline suit training by running through the physical training, including the use of tools, to simulate the arduous working conditions that you would have when doing physical work in an airline suit.
Project Manager Jason Simpson’s team is decommissioning the redundant laboratories in the Fuel Cycle Area (FCA). Much of the work is carried out in airline suits due to the radiological hazards in the cluster of 40 cells designed to analyse and test materials used in reactors and reprocessing plants.
Jason explained that before the work restarted, the team went through the airline suit refresher training and procedures were updated to take account of the changed conditions caused by the COVID-19 virus. He added:We are grateful for the help of other departments, who delivered the refresher training and revisited the safe systems of work to ensure all safety aspects of the work had been considered.
The latest laboratory to be cleaned up is Lab 103. Although it is one of the smaller laboratories, the operators still size reduced and removed over 40 bins (approximately 8 tonnes) of waste and redundant equipment from the laboratory.
Becky Ruddy, Head of FCA Decommissioning, said of the teams recent return to airline suit work:Jason, Mick and the wider teams have worked extremely hard to develop a safe way of working which incorporates COVID-19 requirements as well as all the other requirements we need to consider as part of any decommissioning project on a daily basis.
This hard work and determination has enabled us to resume progress against our company mission of working together to responsibly deliver the Dounreay programme efficiently and effectively. Well done and thanks to everyone involved.
Ground-breaking research published in Nature Communications shows that traces of plutonium in the environment can be identified as being from global or local sources. Using soil samples taken from Dounreay, an area near to the site and 2 areas at a distance from the site, the research showed that it was possible to identify whether minute traces of plutonium in the soil came from plutonium ‘bred' in a reactor or from global fallout.
Statement issue18 March 2021 by NDA, Dounreay and Sellafield. In 2013 we concluded the development of our strategy to remove unirradiated nuclear material from Dounreay and consolidate it at Sellafield.
Dounreay has awarded an important waste clean-up contract to Jacobs as the site plans for the future of its deepest historic radioactive waste store. Jacobs and its supporting partners have been awarded a 6-year contract to provide a design management team to produce a fully integrated design for the shaft and silo project.
14 successful companies have been awarded contracts to come up with innovative approaches to remotely sort and segregate radioactive waste. The ‘Sort and Seg' innovation competition, worth £3.9 million in total, was launched in July 2020.
David Peattie, Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has announced the appointment of Lawrie Haynes as Chair Designate of Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd. (DSRL).
Dounreay features in a new leaflet from the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency showing recent research, development and innovation. See the leaflet link at the bottom of this page to read about some of the other investments by the NDA.
UK-Japan relationship in nuclear science boosted by robotics and automation. Britain and Japan have signed a research and technology deployment collaboration to help automate nuclear decommissioning and aspects of fusion energy production.
Issued by David Peattie, Group CEO and Accounting Officer, NDA. I am pleased to be able to share with you some significant developments within the NDA around our transport and waste businesses, further underlining our One NDA approach to working more collaboratively and efficiently to clean up the UK's earliest civil nuclear sites.
The Decommissioning Services Framework (DDF) Alliance, led by Cavendish Nuclear and supported by KDC Contractors (Veolia) and BAM Nuttall (BAM), has been successfully awarded a contract for the design of a new waste repackaging facility at the Dounreay nuclear site. The programme of work is expected to run until early 2022 and forms part of Dounreay Site Restoration Limited's (DSRL's) Decommissioning Services Framework.
Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) has announced the appointment of Mark Rouse as its Managing Director. Mark took up the position of Managing Director in March 2020 but will now move from the current parent body organisation to Dounreay Site Restoration Limited to continue leading the business when it becomes an NDA subsidiary on 1 April 2021.