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28 September 06
Retired Dounreay Workers Check Out The Changes

UKAEA recently invited a group of Dounreay's retired workers back to site to see the decommissioning work taking place at Dounreay. During their return to site Gordon Bailey, Frank Sinclair, Sinclair Calder, Ernie Lillyman, Jonathon Kirk and Rolland Shallcross were informed about the shaft isolation project and saw for themselves the changes that have taken place at the shaft including the raised working platform which was recently constructed. They also had a tour of the Dounreay Fast Reactor to hear how DFR is being decommissioned. On leaving site Frank Sinclair, said: "I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to site. The tour of the shaft and DFR was excellent and very informative. From what I remember of the site it has all altered, and certainly the sky line has altered. Several new buildings have gone up and there are also many buildings I remember that have now been demolished. During my visit to the shaft at the start of the year, there was no working platform which is now there today. There have been big changes down there.” While Sinclair Calder, said he found his visit to the site very informative and very worthwhile "It was nice to see some familiar faces again.”

2 May 06
NDA Directors See Clean-up Of Fast Reactor Legacy
The board of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority got a close-up look at the progress being made to decommission Britain's fast reactor legacy when it visited Dounreay on 27 April 2006.  The NDA is responsible for the clean-up of 20 civil nuclear sites in the UK, with Dounreay being the second largest of them. UKAEA, working with AMEC and CH2MHILL through their recently-announced alliance, now decommissions the site under a contract with the NDA.

11 April 06
PFR Heat Exchangers Removed As Part Of Decommissioning Process
Five six tonne heat exchangers have been successfully and safely lifted and removed from the PFR reactor as part of the crucial decommissioning programme for the Dounreay plant. During the 20 year lifetime of the reactor the heat exchangers were used to cool the reactor roof gas. The work, carried out for UKAEA by JGC Engineering and Technical Services Ltd required removal of a Soft Patch on the north wall of the reactor building. This route was last used in 1965 to install the units. The heat exchangers have been placed in interim storage on the site

31 March 06

The publication on 30 March 2006 of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) approved Strategy sets out for the first time how the UK will tackle the clean-up of its historic nuclear facilities including the UKAEA site at Dounreay in Caithness, and the Magnox Electric Ltd sites, Hunterston A in Ayrshire and Chapelcross near Dumfries.
The NDA will establish a Nuclear Skills Institute and a National Nuclear Skills Academy.  A delivery arm of the Academy will be located at Thurso.

27 March 06
Dounreay Bulletin Online - Issue 24
Demolition of Former Reactor Workshop - Dounreay to Seek New Authorisation from SEPA - Shaft Isolation Work Gets Underway - Dounreay's Old Boiler House is Decommissioned - Surveyor Detects Contamination - Dounreay Features in Radio 4 Programme - Sharing Knowledge with Kazakhstan - Tory Party Conference Hears of New Modern Apprenticeships in Engineering - and Decommissioning - PFR Plant Receives Commendation Following OGC Review - Awards for Dounreay Employee - Dounreay Trainees Win Award for Voluntary Work

21 March 06
One of the world’s most challenging nuclear clean-up jobs is underway with the hydraulic isolation of the Dounreay shaft. This follows the decision by Highland Council to grant planning permission to build a raised working platform, drill up to 400 boreholes and inject grout to rocks and effluent discharge tunnel all in the vicinity of the Dounreay shaft.  This major step in the project will allow the contents of the shaft to be isolated from the surrounding environment by physically restricting water movement to and from the shaft. Once complete, the grout curtain will provide reassurance against leakage, eliminate any lingering doubts about the shaft being a source of particles in the marine environment, and create a stable environment for waste retrieval in the future.

7 March 06
Five years after it opened, the Waste Receipt Assay Characterisation & Supercompaction Facilty (WRACS), recently processed its 30,000th drum of solid low-level radioactive waste (LLW). The facility, built to the latest industry standards, takes steel drums containing LLW arisings from site operations, x-rays them to check their contents, and assays them for levels of radioactivity. It then compacts the drum and loads it into secure bulk containers for interim storage on site. WRACS processed it 20,000th drum in August 2004, shortly after re-starting operations, following the fitting of a new compaction unit.

17 January 06
Atomic Energy Agency signs deal with private firms to bid for nuclear clean-ups - Guardian
Guardian Unlimited speculating about UKAEA's chosen partners for new Alliiance - "But the choice of the two has raised some eyebrows. Amec has recently been the subject of takeover speculation while CH2M Hill was at the centre of a row in US Congress.  The American company and a partner were awarded a $28.5m (£16m) contract to oversee the US-led $1.7bn public works and water construction projects in Iraq, only for politicians to point out that some of the firms it was monitoring were partners in other schemes elsewhere."

16 January 06
UKAEA Goes Into An Alliance To Prepare For Decommissioning Contracts In 2008
The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), AMEC plc and CH2M HILL have formed an important new alliance to target opportunities in the UK’s £56 billion (£2bn a year) nuclear clean up market. The alliance heralds the start of an open and competitive market in UK civil nuclear decommissioning and responds to the government’s landmark decision to open this market to competition. The alliance will initially target selected sites among the UK’s 20 civil nuclear sites which are now being opened to competition by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). Around half of these are expected to be bid by the end of 2008. Beyond this market, the partners will explore further international opportunities such as the multi-billion pound market in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, building on the alliance partners’ experience in these regions.

10 January 06
Preferred Bidder For £100 Million Clean-up Announced

UKAEA has announced the preferred bidder for the largest single construction project yet during decommissioning Dounreay. Following a European-wide competitive tendering process, UKAEA has selected the BAND Alliance to deliver a plant to treat liquid and solid radioactive wastes that are a legacy of reprocessing fast reactor fuel at Dounreay. The Alliance consists of prime contractor AMEC and British Nuclear Group Project Services Ltd, NIS Ltd, DGP International and Weir Strachan & Henshaw.
Subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory, planning and other consents, the new plant is expected to cost in the region of £100 million to design and build.  Its primary role will be to condition wastes arising from the clean-out of underground tanks used to store liquids from the historical reprocessing of fast reactor fuel.  This waste accounts for almost 80% of the radioactive waste hazard at Dounreay and its treatment is the highest priority in the site restoration plan.

Exhibition On Radioactive Particles In The Environment
Want To Have Your Say On Dealing With the Particles?  Find Out More and How You Can

Monday 9th January 2006 (10a.m. – 5p.m.)
Tuesday 10th January 2006 (1 – 8p.m.) (5 – 8p.m. BSL/English Interpreter available)
Wednesday 11th January 2006 (10a.m. – 5p.m.)
Thursday 12th January 2006 (1 – 8p.m.) (5 – 8p.m. BSL/English Interpreter available)
During 2006 UKAEA wants to consult the public on the options for dealing with the legacy of radioactive particles in the environment. These exhibitions are an opportunity for you to find out the work that has been carried out to date and how you can play your part in helping us choose the right option.
For more information see Particles In The Marine Environment
Can't make the exhibition or meetings then fill out the online questionnaire to make your points by 26 January 2006.
Dounreay Particles Plan Outlined - BBC
Dounreay In Big Clean Up Drive - Scotsman

2005 Archive News
2004 Archive News
2003 Archive News
2002 Archive News
Dounreay Particles Advisory Group

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Dounreay Past Present And Future
The importance of Dounreay to the county - its people and economy is now extremely important.  But it is the prospects of the work on decommissioning that holds the key to the future prosperity of not just Caithness but the wider area of the north of Scotland and beyond.  The increasing magnitude of the undertaking is beginning to be realised by the whole country as very large contracts are being awarded.  To reflect the importance to the area Caithness.org has been granted access to some historical photographs from the UKAEA archives for publication in a new section.    The historical pictures have been set up in a gallery of their own and others will be added if they become available.