Competition for Dounreay site progresses

10 November 2010

The UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will begin talks with the two consortia that successfully prequalified in the competition to appoint a new organization to oversee decommissioning activities at the Dounreay site.  


Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) is the site licence company (SLC) that manages and operates, on behalf of the NDA, the Dounreay site in Scotland. DSRL has held the site licence, waste disposal authorisation and other necessary legal permits for managing the site since 1 April 2008.


Dounreay (DSRL)
The Dounreay site (Image: DSRL)


In September 2009, the NDA launched a competition to select a Parent Body Organization (PBO) for DSRL, which will own the shares in the Dounreay SLC for the duration of the contract.


The prequalifying consortia are Babcock Dounreay Partnership (comprising Babcock, CH2M Hill and URS International Holdings) and Caithness Solutions (comprising Energy Solutions and Amec).


Formal talks are expected to take place over a 12-week period, following "a period of formal site information gathering during which the participants will have access to the Dounreay site," the NDA said. "This will assist them in the preparation of their final tender submission," it added.


The NDA expects to complete this stage of the competition by April 2011. It noted, "The NDA remains committed to contract award in the first quarter of 2012, as previously indicated."


Graeme Rankin, the competition project manager, commented: "We are pleased to be entering this crucial stage of the competition. This really is the crux of the competition process, and is vital in helping the participants put together their proposals." He added, "It will have a significant impact on making sure that we achieve the best possible outcome for the Dounreay site."


According to the NDA, "The appointed PBO will provide vision for the optimal accomplishment of Dounreay site's mission. It will second key personnel to form the SLC's senior leadership team to deliver that vision, driving to attain best value for money while maintaining mandatory standards of safety, security and environmental performance."


Dounreay was the UK's centre for experimental fast breeder research and development from 1954 until 1994. The site is now being decommissioned under a program that is expected to cost an estimated £2.5 billion ($4 billion) and will involve the gradual dismantling and removal of plant and facilities on site over the next 20 years.


In December 2008, following the successful conclusion of the competition to select and appoint new PBOs for the Sellafield SLC and the low-level waste (LLW) repository near Drigg in Cumbria, the NDA said that it would launch two competitions for PBOs for its other sites.


The competition for Dounreay is now underway, while a competition to select a single PBO for three SLCs - Magnox North Ltd; Magnox South Ltd; and Research Sites Restoration Ltd (RSRL) - is expected to begin in 2011 and to be completed by the end of 2012.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News


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