Jacobs awarded Dounreay decommissioning contracts

04 August 2021

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.

t Dounreay (Image: DSRL)

Under a GBP7 million contract, Jacobs will remove the existing ventilation plant at the PFR. It will also design, manufacture, test, install and commission a new discharge stack, new supply and extraction fans, new HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, replace containment dampers, discharge contamination monitoring equipment and a new tritium monitoring system.

Designed in the early 1960s, the PFR was a mixed oxide-fuelled, liquid sodium-cooled fast reactor, which began supplying the National Grid in January 1975 and was taken offline in 1994.

DSRL has also selected Jacobs to develop the decommissioning strategy for the Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (FRFRP) under a contract worth GBP4.2 million.

The FRFRP, constructed in the 1950s to reprocess used fuel from the UK's experimental fast reactors, ceased operations in the mid-1990s.

"We will deploy our full range of project management, technical and delivery capabilities for these projects, which involve some of the most challenging buildings at Dounreay and are crucial to achieve the scheduled interim end state," said Jacobs Energy, Security and Technology Senior Vice President Karen Wiemelt. "These projects continue the complex work Jacobs has performed to make the site and surrounding areas safe and clean for future generations."

DSRL Head of Reactors Phil Cartwright said: "At PFR there are a number of unique decommissioning challenges. Replacement of the ventilation system will enable us to safely complete the decommissioning work, whilst ensuring the required environmental controls are in place, over the next 10-15 years."

The Dounreay site in Caithness, Scotland, was the UK's centre for experimental fast breeder research and development from 1954 until 1994. It is home to three reactors and supporting facilities, including reprocessing plants.

DSRL is the site licence company responsible for the clean-up and demolition of the Dounreay site. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). It is funded by the NDA to deliver the site closure programme.

In October 2018, Jacobs was awarded two four-year framework agreements by DSRL to provide design and engineering services, and safety case production and peer review services. The scope of work under the GBP12-15 million design and engineering services agreement included: design, construction management, specialist engineering services, environmental restoration, software modelling, commissioning support services and the development of waste strategy documents for DSRL. The safety case and peer review framework saw between GBP8-10 million of work delivered through the agreement and included various levels of detailed safety reporting, radiation and fire assessments, as well as in-depth reviews of site safety and compliance.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News