Local firm awarded major contract

Local engineering firm JGC Engineering & Technical Services Ltd has been awarded a major contract vital to the environment and decommissioning of the Dounreay site.

Following a competitive tendering exercise UKAEA awarded the £7.4 million contract to the local firm to replace the current ventilation system within the Fuel Cycle Area.

In addition other local firms have also benefited having been awarded sub-contracts: Arch Henderson will provide civil design works and MM Miller Ltd will provide civil foundations and building works, with Alpha Engineering providing design work.

The contract is expected to sustain 86 jobs in the local community during various stages of the project and is expected to be completed by May 2010.

Site director Simon Middlemas said: “UKAEA and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are pleased to award this contract to JGC Engineering & Technical Services Ltd, proving Caithness has the skills and ability to provide such a service. This project is vital to the decommissioning of the Fuel Cycle Area and to ensure regulatory compliance with the RSA certificate of authorisation and the pollution prevention and control permit.”

Tim O’Brien, director, JGC Engineering & Technical Services Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract against strong competition after many months of hard work during the tendering period. The award of the contract to ourselves confirms that UKAEA value our experience and reputation for safety and quality. Whilst we strive to diversify our portfolio of work, we are totally committed to the site for the long haul and intend to utilise this project as a springboard to ensure that we remain the contractor of choice for UKAEA.”

Earlier this year the Highland Council granted planning permission for revised plans. Iain Lyall, senior project manager, said: “It is a major milestone to have reached this stage in the project. The team has worked tirelessly on these plans to ensure we have the most efficient and cost effective system.”

The plans approved include two replacement stacks which will be considerably smaller than the existing stack reducing in height from 55 metres to 35 metres and diameter reduces from 4.5 metres to less than two metres. The stack will be manufactured to give an anticipated operational life of at least 20-30 years. One stack will be situated in the north of Fuel Cycle Area, in close proximity to the existing stack and the other in the south of the Fuel Cycle Area.

The plans also contain a duct depression building and a discharge monitoring system. The duct depression building is a fan/filter house situated to the north end of the existing FCA corridor duct. The existing FCA underground duct will be isolated and placed under depression. The forced extract stream from this duct will be heat treated to protect the HEPA filters from the adverse effects of moisture prior to discharging into the proposed above ground system. This will virtually eliminate the potential of any particulate from the existing duct migrating into and contaminating the replacement ventilation system. The above plant will require housing above ground in weather proofing containment.

A statutory radiological stack discharge sampling system will be installed to modern standards to ensure regulatory compliance. As they require housing in weather proof containment, the discharge monitoring enclosures will be sited adjacent to the bases of the proposed stacks.