New report sets clean-up goals for 2010

A new report sets out the key tasks that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority expects to be completed at Dounreay in the coming year.

Its annual business plan – published in draft for public consultation – sets a funding limit of £166 million for 2010/11.

The NDA expects Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and other site licence companies to plan now for changes to the level in funding in subsequent years as a result of pressures nationally to curb public spending.

The report identifies “support costs” as a particular area where the NDA expects to see reduced levels of spending, with a target to reduce overheads by 20 per cent over the next three years.

In his foreword, NDA chief executive Tony Fountain highlights the clean-out and demolition of the plutonium criticality laboratory at Dounreay as evidence of the progress being made to rid Britain of some of its biggest environmental hazards.

The continued destruction of the liquid metal inside the Dounreay Fast Reactor is one of the NDA’s national priorities for 2010/11.

Other key tasks for Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd in the coming year include:

• Continued immobilisation of waste liquors from historical reprocessing, with a target of 100m3 turned into solid intermediate-level waste for long-term storage.

• Completion of the next stage of work for construction of a new low-level waste disposal site and submission to the European Commission of the necessary paperwork.

• Active commissioning of new ventilation systems for decommissioning the Prototype Fast Reactor and Fuel Cycle Area.

• Complete ground works for construction of the plant needed to empty the shaft and silo.

• Work with other site licence companies on the removal of leftover nuclear fuel from Dounreay.

Public consultation on the draft business plan ends on January 25.