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Dounreay shares decommissioning expertise with international colleagues

Dounreay shares decommissioning expertise with international colleagues

Two of DSRL’s project managers have recently spent time overseas sharing knowledge with colleagues from around the world working with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Senior project manager Alex Potts has been assisting the IAEA with the management of spent fuel from research reactors. Guidance notes are being developed as a formal publication and will be presented as a compilation of the best practices from across the globe.

DSRL hosted an IAEA conference in September last year. Alex attended subsequent technical meetings on fast reactor fuels and was then invited to this meeting in April at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

Alex explained: “Exchanging knowledge and expertise with other countries enables use of best industry and worldwide practices to develop our plans for the management of our own reactor fuel. The experience we have gained can be shared with our counterparts within the nuclear industry around the world and with a total of thirty-seven fast reactors either in operation or shutdown, there are many decommissioning challenges ahead.”

Colleagues from India, Japan, Russia, the US and France were in attendance.

DSRL’s Elizabeth Mackenzie, a project manager for fuels disposition, was also asked by the IAEA to participate in an initial consultancy meeting on the management of research reactor fuels.

The meeting to discuss the feasibility of and interest in a publication on commercial options for management of reactor spent nuclear fuel was held in May.

The publication was given the green light and Elizabeth will be involved in writing the document which will be an IAEA publication and will be a compilation and route map of worldwide best practices.

Elizabeth was the sole UK representative at the meeting which was also attended by colleagues from Russia, USA, Austria, France, Norway, Hungary and Germany.

Elizabeth explained: “As Alex has already stated, the benefits of sharing our own experiences and knowledge with the IAEA and its members are two fold and valuable to everyone involved. Finding appropriate, sustainable and cost effective solutions for the management of the fuel cycle for these countries is critical to the continued use of research reactors around the world.”