Dounreay recycling trial opens doors for future possibilities

15 May 2019 01:10 PM

Dounreay has teamed up with waste and recycling specialists to trial an alternative treatment option for the site’s waste metal.

Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), a company owned by Cavendish Dounreay Partnership, worked with EDF Cyclife and Low Level Waste Repository Ltd (LLWR) to safely transport 4 large objects, weighing a total of 66 tonnes, to a specialist facility for recycling.

It was part of a feasibility study considering a different low level waste metal treatment route for recycling bulk metal items, rather than disposing of them in the site’s low level waste vaults.

The work is being undertaken as part of the National Waste Programme, co-ordinated by LLWR on behalf of Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which aims to reduce the amount of low level waste material sent for disposal. It builds on similar projects delivered elsewhere in the NDA group, such as at Berkeley in Gloucestershire and Chapelcross in Dumfries.

The trial, which has been welcomed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), has confirmed that recycling opportunities could exist for some other waste metal items expected to require management as part of the site’s closure programme.

Dounreay’s Strategic Programme Director Sam Usher yesterday said:

While this builds on other projects from elsewhere in the industry, it is the result of a significant effort by the team at Dounreay. Working with EDF Cyclife and LLWR, we have used a new route to recycle large items, too big to fit inside standard waste containers, rather than size reducing and disposing of them in vaults. This is a major step forward for the site and has enormous potential for our future decommissioning strategy.

Joe Robinson, Managing Director of Cyclife UK, added:

Cyclife is delighted to have been able to work closely with Dounreay and LLWR to successfully demonstrate the effectiveness of our treatment routes to support decommissioning. This project increases the options available to Scotland in future decommissioning campaigns.

Once the UK’s centre of fast reactor research, Dounreay is now aiming to be recognised globally for decommissioning excellence. The work is being delivered by DSRL on behalf of NDA.