Dounreay presses ahead with plans for low-level waste site

24 August 2005

The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is pressing ahead with plans to build a new low-level waste (LLW) disposal facility at its Dounreay site, near Caithness.

Despite uncertainty about who will eventually run the complex, which is currently operated by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the NDA intends to put the work out to tender next July as part of a contract that also includes the management and extension the existing LLW facility at Drigg in Cumbria.

The NDA proposes to launch the formal pre-tender consultation in October following UKAEA plans to build and operate a new site for 100,000m3 of solid LLW.

In other news from Dounreay, work is under way on a new £16 million ($29 million) building which will allow the UKAEA to 'repatriate' consignments of nuclear waste under return-of-waste clauses in reprocessing contracts with the operators of overseas reactors.

Between 300 and 400 drums are expected to be transferred to sites in Australia, Belgium, Germany and Spain beginning in 2008.

The operation is part of the £2.7 billion ($4.86 billion) cleanup of the 50-year-old site.


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