Jacobs handed £8m to lead one of world’s deepest nuclear clean-ups

The Dounreay shaft

An £8m contract has been awarded to nuclear specialist Jacobs to clean up a site in Scotland.

The Birchwood-based team of the NYSE-listed company will be involved in the programme expected to last more than six years. Further revenues could be earned as additional work is identified.

Jacobs was selected by Dounreay Site Restoration (DSRL) to lead the integrated design management team for one of the world’s deepest nuclear clean-ups.

The team will play a key role in coordinating the programme to clear and treat radioactive waste in the shaft and silo at Dounreay, near Thurso, in Scotland, a former fast-reactor research and development center.

DSRL, the site decommissioning company, has tasked Jacobs with leading design integration to enable construction activities to start, assisting with management of design and build work packages, and providing design support during construction and commissioning.

Clive White, Jacobs critical mission solutions international senior vice president, said: “By deploying our design engineering and programme management capabilities alongside DSRL we will weave together several complex and challenging projects to ensure safe and efficient delivery.

“This work aims to bring about tangible progress toward the clean-up of Dounreay.”

The Dounreay shaft extends 214.5 feet below ground and measures 15 feet wide in places, while the silo is a large underground vault with a concrete roof.

Both were used for disposal of intermediate-level waste in the 1960s and 1970s, but now the solid waste and liquid effluent they contain needs to be retrieved and repackaged for removal to a safe, modern storage facility.

David Hubbard, DSRL programme delivery director, said: “The shaft and silo contain legacy wastes that must be emptied and repackaged for long-term storage before the site can be closed.

“These contracts are one step closer to the clean-up of these historical waste stores.”

US-owned Jacobs employs 2,750 staff at operations in Warrington, Manchester and Knutsford.