Work Begins on Railhead To Support Dounreay Closure
Construction work is underway on a new railhead to support the closure of the redundant nuclear site at Dounreay.
The facility at Georgemas Junction on the far north rail line will enable fuel belonging to the UK to be returned to national stocks where it can be used to generate electricity.
DRS, the train operator developing the site, believes the development of a railhead in Caithness opens up opportunities for non-nuclear cargo to be moved in and out of the area.
Its executives are meeting business and community leaders to explore other potential markets.
Construction of the new multi-million pound facility will be complete by the summer.
Foreign nuclear fuel has been returned from Dounreay over the past decade.
Now, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is getting ready to return its fuel to UK stocks.
The first of 44 tonnes of breeder material is due to leave Dounreay later this year and will go via the new railhead to Sellafield.
DRS routinely moves nuclear fuel between Sellafield and UK power stations and the Georgemas railhead will extend its network to Caithness for the first time.
A decision on the remainder of the NDA fuel is due in the spring.
It is thought that the new railhead facilities may provide other opportunities for transport of goods in the area.
From DSRL web site
Another pioneering in-house invention has allowed the PFR reactor dismantling team to complete one of the final phases of the reactor dismantling ready for final demolition. The centre guide tube was successfully raised from the reactor core, demonstrating that internal fixtures can be safely removed.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority recognised the role played by a Wick-based manufacturer at Dounreay in its national awards for the UK supply chain. Kongsberg Maritime Ltd supplied a camera capable of working in the harsh radiation environment inside the Dounreay Fast Reactor.
The last batch of higher activity liquid waste produced during Dounreay’s Materials Test Reactor (MTR) research reactor reprocessing history was cemented into a drum on 7 November 2013. It is an important milestone in the processing of the historic liquid waste created during the operation of Dounreay’s three reactors.
Tomorrow (15 November 2013) The Highland Council launches a public consultation on the Dounreay Planning Framework 2: Draft Supplementary Guidance. The Highland Council approved the existing Dounreay Planning Framework in January 2006, as a land use development brief against which to regulate and control future decommissioning and restoration works proposed at the former nuclear power research site at Dounreay, near Thurso in Caithness.
A report published on Tuesday 5th November 2013 underlines how much work remains to be done at Dounreay before the site can be left in a safe condition for future generations. The Office for Nuclear Regulation Chief Nuclear Inspector's annual report says its inspection of the site will be at an “enhanced level” because of the continuing presence of major radiological hazards.
Dounreay’s radioactive impact on the environment continues to fall, according to a report. The annual survey report “Radioactivity in Food and the Environment” (RIFE 2012) has recently been published and it can be read here - http://www.sepa.org.uk/radioactive_substances/publications/rife_reports.aspx The report uses data obtained from samples of air, fresh water, grass, soil, and locally sourced meat, fish, milk and vegetables during 2012.
Dounreay’s parent body organisation – the consortium of international companies that owns and manages DSRL – is getting a new name. From October 28, the Babcock Dounreay Partnership will be known as the Cavendish Dounreay Partnership.
An emergency exercise will be held at Dounreay on Wednesday 18th September 2013. The Dounreay site alarm will be sounded to initiate the exercise and may sound again throughout the duration of the exercise.
A week long summer school was held in late July for students of Thurso, Wick and Farr High School students in 4th, 5th & 6th years to prepare them for the world of work. The course, organised by DSRL (Dounreay Site restoratiopn Ltd) on behalf of the NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Agency), was supported by North Highland College and Skills Development Scotland.
Ther eis a Dounreay site newspaper published online each month. The issue for August can be seen at - http://goo.gl/W7ihcF.
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