Drive-through building site keeps Dounreay open

One of the most challenging projects carried out at Dounreay has involved not a drop of radioactive waste.

The task facing the project team and its contractor, Pentland Construction, was to carry out a £1 million upgrade of the secure entrance to the site – and keep it open around the clock while they did so.

The work included the installation of new vehicle entrance barriers, inspection bay, changes to the road lay-out and refurbishment of the entrance reception.

The entrance gates could not be closed during the five months it took to carry out the work, so careful planning was needed to make sure it was done safely and the entrance stayed secure at all times.

“Some 200 vehicles and 2000 people flow through the site entrance twice a day,” explained Dounreay boss Max Edington.

“The project team needed to turn it into a building site but knew they couldn’t stop the flow of vehicles or people while they did it. The team knew, too, that they couldn’t in any way weaken the security of the entrance in the process.

“Pentland Construction and the whole project team worked well together under the management of Wullie Sinclair and did a good job to deliver this project safely and securely in these circumstances.”

The improvements were required to comply with new security standards for nuclear sites.