Innovation Reaches Deep Into The Dounreay Workforce
21st August 2021
Innovation in the face of adversity earned Scotland's largest nuclear site a shot at Scotland's top event award.
About 100 or so workers normally attend Dounreay's annual showcase event, when staff are recognised for reaching levels of excellence in their work to decommission the plant.
The coronavirus pandemic threw a spanner in the works during 2020 because of legal restrictions about how many people could gather in one place. So, they had to make a choice - take the easy option which would have been to cancel altogether and return again next year or do something new and innovative that would be inclusive and fun.
With most staff working remotely from home, the site's operator moved the December event on-line - and pulled in an audience many times greater than usual.
And thanks to the roll-out of video communications, it also meant they could feature a cabaret showcasing the hidden talents of the Dounreay workforce.
Now, the event has been short-listed in the "best event" category of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Scotland PRide awards.
"Innovation in the face of adversity enabled us to take the event from a small number of invited guests to something that reached every corner of the workforce and made us all feel really proud of our achievements during a very difficult time," said Gail Ross, head of communications at Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd.
The 90-minute show, hosted by Highland media celebrity Nicky Marr and run on-line by contractor DP Media, drew in an audience viewed by 1600 different devices.
In addition to recognising the outstanding achievements during the previous 12 months of individuals and teams at the site, it also featured a cabaret of staff performing musical interludes and even a magic show.
A poll of staff picked Caithness Mental Health Group as the nominated charity, with more than £4000 raised during the course of the evening.
The winner of the CIPR Scotland PRide award will be announced on 6 October.
Vera winning the Pride Award at the Dounreay Decommissioning Excellence Awards.
The first roof beams have been lifted into place at Dounreay's newest shielded radioactive waste store. Seventy six beams, weighing a total of 1,400 tonnes, the equivalent of 116 double decker buses, are needed to complete the mammoth roof structure which will have a total weight of 3,300 tonnes.
Six new decommissioning operative trainees have started work at Dounreay, as part of a structured programme to develop skills required to safely decommission the site. DSRL is collaborating with Nuvia, Morson and GDES who have all recruited trainees.
Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) has awarded two contracts worth a combined GBP11.2 million (USD15.9 million) to USA-based engineering group Jacobs for decommissioning work at the Dounreay site in Scotland. Under the contracts, Jacobs will upgrade the ventilation system at the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) and develop the decommissioning strategy for the fast reactor fuel reprocessing plant in the Fuel Cycle Area.
The shaft and silo project ‘advanced transition' work is getting underway at Dounreay. Radioactive waste was historically consigned to the 65 metre deep shaft and the silo, an underground waste storage vault, over several decades starting in the late 1950s.
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.
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).