THE work to remove the radioactive waste in the shaft and silo at Dounreay will be “a really challenging project,” according to managing director, Mark Rouse. He said the clean-up of the facilities will be the main focus at the site over the next few years and will require what he described as ” a cautious approach.” Mr Rouse was speaking at the recent virtual meeting of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group. He said the removal of the material from the shaft and silo will be ” a very big radiological challenge” which will require specialist skills. Tor Justad, the chairman of the Highlands Against Nuclear Transport, said the radioactive waste was dumped in the shaft and silo “without many records being kept ” and he wondered how the material in there could be traced and identified. He also asked about the timescale for the operation. Mr Rouse said the work at the shaft and silo is “a very big project” which will be a challenge and need high-level technology and specialist teams to complete it safely. 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. Now the higher-activity solid waste and liquid effluent they contain must be retrieved and repackaged, suitable for long-term storage in a safe, modern facility. The task of cleaning up these facilities has been given to the Jacobs engineering group. The company and its partners were awarded a six-year contract to provide a design management team to produce a fully integrated design for the shaft and silo project, including helping with the management of several design and build packages.
John O Groat Journal 18th June 2021 read more »