News story

NDA sets out Dounreay clean-up goals

The NDA, the public body that owns Dounreay and funds its clean-up, today set out key milestones for the site over the next 3 years.


A draft business plan for 2014-17 sets out the progress needed on major projects to complete the closure of the site by 2022-25.

The NDA is seeking views of stakeholders on the plan. A consultation runs until January 24, with the final plan scheduled for approval by UK and Scottish Ministers by the end of March.

NDA chief executive John Clarke, in a foreword to the plan, says: “Progress at our Dounreay site is continuing and within this plan period we will see the completion of all out of reactor breeder shipments to Sellafield and the start of the programme to transport exotic fuels to Sellafield for long-term management.”

The draft plan identifies a number of key milestones over the next decade:

2014 – Operations commence at new low-level waste disposal facilities

2017 – Liquid metal residues destroyed at Dounreay Fast Reactor

2018 – Liquid metal residues destroyed at Prototype Fast Reactor

2020 – All material for disposal removed from shaft

2021 – PFR dismantled

Key activities for 2014/15 include:

  • Complete the characterisation and remediation of the south-west corner of the site
  • Closure of the south-west corner of the site
  • Characterisation and remediation of any contamination found off-site which emanated from the site
  • Landfill 42 post closure safety case approved
  • Demolition of the shaft cover building
  • Completion of the material test reactor raffinate immobilisation
  • Completion of the construction of the encapsulation facility
  • Completion of all out-of-reactor DFR breeder fuel shipments to Sellafield
  • Commence exotic fuel movements to Sellafield
  • Low Level Waste facility operational including the grouting plant

For 2015-17, key activities include:

  • Decontamination of PFR pond suitable for final disposition
  • Completion of post-operational clean-out for building housing underground tanks of raffinate
  • PFR irradiated fuel material transferred to spent fuel store
  • Completion of removal of PFR spent fuel cans from the buffer store and pond matrix
  • Construction of new fuel characterisation facilities for the characterisation of materials complete
  • Complete the removal of all fuels from DFR
  • Completion of the DFR raffinate immobilisation
  • Completion of PFR raffinate immobilisation
  • Shaft and silo headworks for removal of waste are operational
Published 3 December 2013