20 May 2013

James Fisher Nuclear awarded contract to support the world’s deepest nuclear clean-up project at Dounreay

Building on its extensive track record in providing remote handling systems at Sellafield and Magnox, James Fisher Nuclear (JFN) has been awarded a contract to assist with the retrieval and processing of radioactive waste from the Dounreay Shaft and Silo, in support of the world’s deepest nuclear clean-up job.

As an integral part of JFN’s planned diversification beyond Sellafield, the company will supply a suite of remote handling equipment and end effectors to support the retrieval, sorting and segregation of miscellaneous waste materials from the Dounreay Shaft and Silo facilities. The circa £5 million pound contract award from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) will be delivered over a two year period and involves the construction of a significant test facility in the JFN Rig Hall located in Egremont (West Cumbria), on which inactive testing and operator training will be undertaken, prior to the delivery of the equipment to the Dounreay site.

Combining proven technology with robust design and safety considerations, the JFN supplied waste sorting Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) will work in conjunction with the bulk retrieval machine (Electrically Operated Travelling crane, supplied by others) located in two new facilities to be constructed above the existing Shaft and Silo structures. Potentially the first of a number of contracts due to be placed by Dounreay relating to the decommissioning of the ‘high hazard’ Shaft and Silo facilities, the safe retrieval of the waste from both these facilities, its repackaging and the clean-up and closure of the underground facilities is one of the most important and challenging tasks in the site’s clean-up programme.

Dr Paul Read, managing director of James Fisher Nuclear, commented: “We have an extensive track record in providing remote handling systems for Sellafield and Magnox and this contract represents a ‘first’ for the deployment of our capability at Dounreay. Our specialised remote handling skills are directly applicable to the challenges that the Dounreay site faces and we’re keen to get started and support DSRL in the next step of its decommissioning programme.”