News story

Recycling and reusing saves £15 million

Savings of around £15 million have been achieved by teams across the NDA estate using an online database to re-use and recycle redundant equipment.

Among the items transferred from one site to another are pumps, cranes, forklift trucks, tractors, blocks of lead, boilers, radiation detectors, breathing apparatus, office equipment, robotic equipment, a snow plough – and more.

The NDA Asset Transfer Scheme (NATS) was launched 8 years ago by NDA for sites to advertise unwanted items, or seek redundant equipment from other sites. Many items are in good condition but no longer needed at a site as progress is made in decommissioning programmes. Other sites can benefit from the equipment if they are at a different stage in decommissioning or undertaking similar projects. NATS is available to all Site Licence Companies with the main aim of reducing costs and waste.

The principle of recycling assets across the estate has now been enshrined in SLC contract specifications. Before buying new, procurement teams seek to acquire goods from other sites first. On-the-ground teams, meanwhile, advertise redundant equipment for a specified period, before following their usual disposal processes, which prioritise the most cost-effective options.

Martin Grey, the NDA’s Engineering Manager (Assurance), said:

One site has accumulated £1.9 million of benefits in the first few months of 2015 by avoiding the costs of buying new equipment, and by transferring surplus kit to other sites. Another site acquired 50 tonnes of lead that will be used for shielding. These kinds of transactions are taking place across the estate regularly. They deliver huge all-round benefits not just in cost terms but also in encouraging a more sustainable approach to asset use.

One of the larger exchanges was Dounreay’s super-compactor, which was acquired brand new from AWE where it was surplus to requirements and is now in use to crush drums of Low Level Waste which will disposed of in the site’s new vaults for LLW. The site’s own machine had suffered a major mechanical failure in 2011 and a backlog of 11,000 drums built up before the replacement was found.

The latest version of the Asset Transfer Scheme is being extended to include transport assets for our subsidiary, INS.