The company charged with the decommissioning of the Dounreay nuclear site has appointed a preferred bidder in its plans to build of a radioactive waste disposal facility on the site.
Dounreay Site Restoration (DSR) has selected Graham Construction to design and build the new facility, which will be needed to hold up to 175,000m3 of solid low-level waste that is expected to be generated during the decommissioning of the site.
Graham Construction was chosen from a shortlist of five companies, and, subject to approval from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the contract will be signed by the end of March. Construction is scheduled to begin in autumn 2011, and will take two years to complete.
The development is an essential part of the infrastructure needed to complete the decommissioning and closure of the former nuclear research site. The contract will be based on target cost design and build contract under the NEC conditions, with the lifetime cost of the development expected to be in the region of £100M.
Northern Ireland based Graham will design and construct two sub-surface vaults for the disposal of waste from the site clean-up. DSR has planning consent for up to six vaults adjacent to the site but hopes to reduce the number that need to be built through waste minimisation practices in decommissioning.
Up to 100 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with a quarter of the work expected to be sub-contracted to local companies.
DSR’s project manager Audrey Cooper said: “The design stage of the work is an opportunity to improve the scheme and take into account valuable feedback from local stakeholders, while still working within the constraints of the planning consent.
“I expect the first two vaults to be completed by mid-2013, which is two years earlier than previously indicated.”
Graham Construction’s director Leo Martin said: “We are delighted to be announced as preferred bidder on this contract. This is a very important project for us, in a market sector which we are looking to expand into further. We are very much looking forward to delivering this important project for DSR.”