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
Wick Harbour Authority is making progress with its plans to create a heavy-lift facility on the commercial quay at Wick harbour, with contractors Gunns Lybster Ltd having now begun the work. The project, and its associated dredging works, was supported by CNSRP partners HIE and NDA respectively and is the first of several proposed phases of work to position the harbour as a key player in the energy sector, with the current focus being on potential to benefit from the development of Offshore Wind in the Moray Firth.
A pioneering Dounreay innovation has allowed the team taking apart the Prototype Fast Reactor to complete one of the final phases ready for demolition. The centre guide tube - which once housed the reactor's control and shutoff rods - was successfully raised from the reactor core, demonstrating that internal fixtures can be safely removed.
Dounreay welcomed Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism to see the world leading decommissioning work taking place at the site. He also met with Andrew Wettern, business development director for Cavendish Nuclear, who was accompanying Hidehiro Segawa of Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy on his knowledge sharing and fact finding visit to the site.
DSRL will be running a free workshop to train the supply chain on the new Complete Tender Management (CTM) system. The workshop will be held on Thursday February 20, 2014 at the North Highland College, Thurso from 1pm to 4pm.
Management at Dounreay are facing the challenge of how to accommodate additional work from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) whilst maintaining the same annual spend, the same Interim End State – and most importantly, the same priority on working safely and securely that the site is renowned for. The additional work has arisen because activities that were not sufficiently developed by the NDA at the time the competition was run in 2012 have now reached a state of maturity that allows them to be added to the existing programme of work.
DSRL will be holding a supply chain briefing to give an update on future procurement opportunities at Dounreay. This event will be held on Wednesday February 12, 2014 in The Weigh Inn Hotel, Thurso, starting at 14:00 hours.
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.
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