Companies are being invited to LINC together and support Scotland’s largest decommissioning project thanks to an innovative new scheme designed to increase the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) delivering clean-up work at Dounreay.
Up to five companies will be invited to help understand and develop the best proposal for size-reducing all of the machinery and components that will need to be removed from Dounreay’s Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) – the largest to be built at the Caithness site. It is the first of several opportunities expected to be advertised as part of an initiative encouraging SMEs to LINC – liaise, innovate, network and collaborate – with Dounreay.
Stephen Adamson, Head of Commercial Services at Dounreay Site Restoration Limited, said: “This first project is about understanding what is possible and ensuring we develop the best decommissioning solution for one of our iconic reactors. A large number of items within the redundant reactor will ultimately need to be removed, reduced in size and packaged within waste containers for long-term storage.
“It is the perfect way to launch our new flagship SME scheme as it requires companies to collaborate with our workforce at Dounreay as well as each other, showcasing the capability that exists to push forward safe, innovative and cost effective decommissioning. More than a quarter of the £110 million we spent with suppliers last year was with SME companies so we recognise their contribution and are excited about how LINC can increase that even more.”
Up to eight projects are expected to be advertised during the next year through the scheme with more than 40 firms already registered. The process of becoming a supplier is simplified by offering one-time registration for all future LINC projects.
Ron Gorham, Head of Supply Chain Optimisation at Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, added: “Smaller businesses play a vital role in the nuclear decommissioning supply chain, and across the UK. We fully support this initiative to encourage collaboration, and its potential for encouraging further growth and sustainability in both the local economy and also with small and medium enterprises.”
Dounreay Site Restoration Limited, a company owned by Cavendish Dounreay Partnership, is responsible for decommissioning the UK’s former centre of fast reactor research on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.