Shaft clean-up hailed by more award judges

Shaft clean-up hailed by more award judges

Dounreay’s award-winning shaft clean-up project has earned more industry plaudits.

A judging panel for one of Britain’s leading construction awards singled it out for special praise.

The successful project helped BAM Ritchies, the contractor that carried out the work, scoop top prize in the Construction News Specialist Awards 2009.

According to the judges, the shaft clean-up team “delivered one of the most technically challenging geotechnical projects of its type in the world at the only UK licensed nuclear waste disposal site at Dounreay”.

They added: “This job was notable for pioneering methods and strong partnering. The contractor’s innovative solutions save both time and cost for clients and the judges underscored this ‘collaborative working to drive value’.”

BAM’s successful completion of the first phase of shaft decommissioning helped it take the “winner of winners” special award, in addition to the ground engineering category.

The announcement, at a glittering Construction News awards ceremony at the Hilton in London’s Park Lane, comes just a month after BAM’s work on shaft clean-up was highly commended in the Ground Engineering finals.

The first phase of the scheme to decommission the shaft and nearby waste silo took three years to complete and enveloped the 65-metre deep waste site in a grout “sock”.

The grout was injected into rock fissures to create a 10-metre wide barrier around the shaft, greatly reducing the amount of groundwater that can get into the waste and eliminating the need for a £200m treatment plan during the emptying stage.

Warren Jones, shaft project manager with Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, said: “Decommissioning the shaft is a unique project that requires innovation, collaboration and a very strong emphasis on safety and environmental protection. The success of BAM Ritchies in these prestigious awards reflects great credit on the whole team who delivered this pioneering phase of the work.”