No let-up for holidays in hazard reduction at Dounreay

No let-up for holidays in hazard reduction at Dounreay

There was no let-up during Christmas and New Year in the drive to rid Dounreay of two of its most hazardous legacies.

Teams worked around the clock during the holidays to treat more of the toxic liquors left over from the site’s research programme.

They kept two of the site’s most important clean-up plants running 24 hours a day throughout Christmas and New Year.

At the Dounreay Fast Reactor, more than half a tonne of liquid metal was removed from the primary cooling circuits and destroyed.

In the Fuel Cycle Area, teams worked on shifts to process more than a tonne of hazardous waste liquor left over from the historical reprocessing of spent fuel.

The liquor was mixed with cement and set inside drums, making it safe for long-term storage as intermediate-level waste.

The two streams of liquor – the liquid metal and the raffinate – are among the most hazardous wastes that need to be dealt with at Dounreay.

“The sooner we can get rid of these hazards, the safer the site will be,” said Andy Swan, decommissioning manager at Dounreay Fast Reactor.

“That’s why it made sense to continue working these plants round the clock while the rest of us enjoyed the tinsel and turkey. The teams did a thoroughly professional job.”