M+W Group wins world’s deepest nuclear clean-up job at Dounreay

M+W Group has been appointed as the lead design and safety case consultant for the Dounreay Shaft and Silo nuclear decommissioning project.

Dounreay in northern Scotland was the site of a prototype ‘fast reactor’ and was shut down in 1994. Complete decommissioning and clean-up of the site is expected to be complete by 2025. Dounreay nuclear site

Highly radioactive waste generated during the operation of Dounreay was sent to two underground facilities. The shaft – a 65-metre deep column that formed part of the site construction in the 1950s – was used for disposals until 1977, while the silo – a shallow concrete bunker – was used as a store until 1998. Cleaning out the shaft is the world’s deepest nuclear clean-up job.

The M+W Group seven-year deal covers design, safety and environment case development as well as construction management support.

The project will establish new retrieval, processing and packaging facilities that will enable waste from the Dounreay shaft and silo to be treated safely and securely, rendering it suitable for long-term storage and future disposal.

Used for over 40 years to store intermediate level waste, the shaft is the deepest storage area of its kind in the world and decommissioning presents several unique technical and engineering challenges.

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