Highland Council has approved a £110M investment in new facilities for managing low-level radioactive waste at Dounreay nuclear plant, it was announced this week.
Dounreay Site Restoration has welcomed the approval, which will allow it to build a series of disposal vaults adjacent to the site.
The new facility is for long-term management up to 175,000m3 of low-level radioactive waste from decommissioning the fast reactor experiment at Dounreay. It is expected to create 100 jobs during its construction and 12 during its operation.
The decision is subject to final approval by Scottish ministers because it involves a planning application accompanied by an Environmental Statement.
“Waste is the product of decommissioning and its management to the highest standards of safety and environmental protection is an essential part of closing down this site,” said Dounreay Site Restoration managing director Simon Middlemas.
“Low-level waste is by far the biggest volume of waste we have to deal with."
Construction work is scheduled to begin in 2011. Subject to other regulatory consent, the facility is scheduled to operate from 2014 until decommissioning is complete in 2025, when the underground facility will be capped and the surface restored.