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Reactor pioneers bring back the knowledge

Reactor pioneers bring back the knowledge

A group of old timers have returned to Dounreay to retrace their steps after working on the construction of the prototype fast reactor over 40 years ago.

JGC Engineering & Technical Services Ltd electricians who helped build the plant in the late 60’s were brought back to help identify redundant cabling now being ripped out of the reactor.

A staggering fifteen miles of intricate tangled cabling was safely removed from the plant on time and to budget, meeting a crucial deadline for the reactor dismantling project team.

The 1,406 obsolete asbestos and PVC sheathed cables have lay dormant under the reactor top for years. They were once essential control and instrumentation cables for research and operational purposes in the reactors heyday.

Removal of the asbestos cabling safely whilst maintaining a controlled environment and avoiding the live cables, some of which ran parallel, was obviously a major issue for the team. It demonstrated compliance with the site’s new cable labelling system worked and with the support of historical electrical drawings a process was put in place which has proved hugely successful.

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd project manager Ron Hibbert explained: “This was a complex job which presented us with many challenges. It’s a prime example of fully integrated teamwork between DSRL and its contractors and has removed a hazardous historical legacy from the past and opened the doors for the next phase of reactor dismantling preparatory work.”