£11m decommissioning contract win for nuclear specialist Jacobs

Dounreay Prototype Fast Reactor
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Nuclear industries specialist Jacobs has been selected to lead two decommissioning projects at the Dounreay nuclear site in Scotland, worth £11.2m.

US-based Jacobs, which has significant operations in Birchwood and Manchester, will upgrade the ventilation systems for the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) under a £7m contract from DSRL, the company responsible for cleaning up the site on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

DSRL has also chosen Jacobs to develop the decommissioning strategy for the Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (FRFRP) under a contract worth £4.2m.

Jacobs energy, security and technology senior vice president, Karen Wiemelt, said: “We will deploy our full range of project management, technical and delivery capabilities for these projects, which involve some of the most challenging buildings at Dounreay and are crucial to achieve the scheduled interim end state.

“These projects continue the complex work Jacobs has performed to make the site and surrounding areas safe and clean for future generations.”

DSRL head of reactors, Phil Cartwright, said: “At PFR there are a number of unique decommissioning challenges. Replacement of the ventilation system will enable us to safely complete the decommissioning work, whilst ensuring the required environmental controls are in place, over the next 10-15 years.”

The scope of the PFR project includes removal of the existing vent plant and design, manufacturing, testing, installation and commissioning of a new discharge stack, new supply and extract fans, new HEPA filters, replacement of containment dampers, discharge contamination monitoring equipment and a new tritium monitoring system.

Designed in the early 1960s, the PFR was a MOX-fueled, liquid sodium-cooled fast reactor, which began supplying the National Grid in January 1975 and was taken offline in 1994.

The FRFRP, built in the 1950s to reprocess spent fuel from the UK’s experimental fast reactors, ceased operations in the mid-1990s.