Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd today announced its preferred bidder for a contract worth in the region of £13 million to support its decommissioning of the site’s two fast reactors.
The contract is for maintenance and operations during the ongoing clean-out and dismantling of the Dounreay Fast Reactor and the Prototype Fast Reactor.
Following a competitive tendering exercise, the preferred bidder has been named as BNS Nuclear Services, part of Babcock International Group.
Subject to regulatory and contractual clearance, the contract is due to begin on November 1, 2008, and run for three years, with options to extend for up to two years.
Maintenance and operations support at the two reactor decommissioning projects until now has involved separate contracts with four companies.
A review by DSRL concluded that a single contract would provide greater flexibility in managing the decommissioning of both reactors. It will also release efficiency savings that can fund other clean-up work.
Brad Smith, head of decommissioning at Dounreay, said: “Our priority is to clean out and dismantle these reactors as quickly as it is safe to do so and in a way that is most efficient for our customer, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
“Bringing this work together in a single contract gives us more flexibility in how we do that because it removes the potential barriers that exist when several contracts are in place. It opens up new opportunities for staff on this contract to move between different jobs and different reactors and to develop skills as the clean-up evolves.”
David Hubbard, BNS Nuclear Services project manager for Dounreay, said: “We are very pleased to be chosen for such a prestigious contract and to take part in the overall restructuring of the operations and maintenance arrangements for the Dounreay reactors.
“This contract gives BNS Nuclear Services the opportunity to further its long-standing commitment to the local community and to provide increased opportunities and varied work scope for our expanding and flexible local workforce.
“BNS Nuclear Services is a major local employer, with over forty employees currently on the Dounreay site, and last year contributed around £5 million to the local economy."
DSRL and BNS Nuclear Services are working together to keep all affected staff fully informed during the change. This includes an open event in Thurso on May 31 for all affected staff and their families at which they can learn more about the opportunities from BNS Nuclear Services and DSRL management.