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Dounreay spending cap to delay work and cost jobs

Budget caps will see 182 jobs lost at the Dounreay nuclear site and prolong decommissioning by 14 years, the site operator revealed this week.

Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) managing director Simon Middlemas has been meeting staff to explain where the jobs will be lost as a result of a £150M annual spending cap imposed on the operator by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

The firm will cut 102 jobs this year, representing around 10% of its staff. Of these, 93 have already been identified. Nine more will be identified later this year and a further 80 will be shed in 2012/13. The £150M spending cap was imposed by the NDA in January.

Plans for a £215M cementation plant and a £240M project to retrieve waste from the contaminated Dounreay shaft have already been placed on hold as a result (NCE 12 March).

DSRL said the cutbacks mean the end date for decommissioning will be pushed back from 2025 to as late as 2039.

“[There will be] fluctuations in the target date for completion between 2025 and 2039, but [it is] likely to settle around 2032 by December, with some tightening of the timescale expected over the following 12 months,” it said in a statement.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Why not build a wall around the Dounreay site and leave it to rot. The site is not needed and will do no harm if left alone. In 50 years time we might harvest the debris to fuel a new breed of energy producers? If not in 1000 years time it will be the same as the rest of us. DEAD.

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