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Thu February 29 2024

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Jacobs wins £8m role on Dounreay clean-up

5 Mar 21 Jacobs is to lead the integrated design management team for the restoration of the former fast-reactor research and development site at Dounreay near Thurso.

The site decommissioning company Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) has picked Jacobs for the role in coordinating the programme to clear and treat radioactive waste in the shaft and silo at Dounreay. DSRL estimates the contract value at £8m over 6.5 years, with potential for additional revenue as additional work packages are identified. Berkshire Engineering, which is based near Dounreay, will assist with test and trials work.

Jacobs is tasked with leading design integration to enable construction activities to begin, assisting with the management of design and build work packages, and providing design support during construction and commissioning.

While some of the contract will be delivered remotely, Jacobs will also subcontract work to local companies.

"By deploying our design engineering and programme management capabilities alongside DSRL we will weave together several complex and challenging projects to ensure safe and efficient delivery," said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions international senior vice president Clive White. "This work aims to bring about tangible progress toward the clean-up of Dounreay."

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The Dounreay shaft extends 65m feet below ground and measures about 4.6m wide in places, while the silo is a large underground vault with a concrete roof. Both were used for disposal of intermediate-level waste in the 1960s and 1970s, but now the solid waste and liquid effluent they contain needs to be retrieved and repackaged for removal to a safe, modern storage facility.

"The shaft and silo contain legacy wastes that must be emptied and repackaged for long-term storage before the site can be closed,” said DSRL's programme delivery director, David Hubbard. “These contracts are one step closer to the clean-up of these historical waste stores.”

The contract is one of a series to be awarded through the site’s decommissioning framework and heralds the beginning of work on the shaft and silo. In 2020 Nuvia and its partner Graham Construction were awarded a contract for ‘advanced transition works’. There are likely to be further major contracts awarded over the next 12 months.

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