Dounreay Glovebox Picture

Project:

Exotics Fuel Programme, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd

Under Amentum’s leadership, the highly prioritised Exotics and Out of Reactor Breeder Fuels Programme was successfully delivered from the Dounreay Site in Scotland. The task was to transport over 13 tonnes of ‘exotic’ fuel (unirradiated plutonium and uranium) material from Dounreay to Sellafield and other domestic and international locations for repurposing.  Completion of this activity lowered the security level required at the Dounreay site and ultimately advanced the decommissioning and clean-up mission. The Programme was valued at £329 million and was delivered from 2012-2019.

The material was located in purpose-built stores at Dounreay for many decades under full special nuclear material (SNM) security and safeguard controls. The majority of the SNM was stored in cans of various sizes. The critical material was shipped under full Category 1 security arrangements in Type B flasks using road, sea, rail and air transport, depending on the destination.

The programme was delivered in a proactive and integrated manner with a team consisting of Amentum, DSRL, Sellafield, US Department of Energy, UK Department of Business Energy Industry and Strategy, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, UK Ministry of Defence, US Air Force and supply chain members. Under Amentum leadership a collaboration/problem-solving forum was established (named C6) bringing key stakeholders together, including agencies and regulatory bodies, to enable delivery of the mission.

To enable successful delivery Amentum deployed specialist skills to confirm the use of Wick Airport as suitable and sufficient to execute large air transport with specific upgrades, and that it was able to deliver the upgrades on the prescribed schedule.

Project Highlights

  • Through an integrated programme delivery approach, the programme was delivered 3 years ahead of schedule
  • Retrieved and appropriately packaged all out of reactor breeder fuel on the Dounreay site ready for transportation
  • Transported 13 tonnes of exotic fuel material from the Dounreay site to the UK and foreign destinations
  • Moved over 2500 items to multiple locations, world-wide
  • Increased specialist workforce from 80 people to 220 within four months, including utilisation of DSRL expertise as part of the delivery organisation
  • Established the C6 collaboration group to enable focus on mission delivery
  • Worked over 1,645 days (circa 150,000 person hours) without a lost time injury
  • Completed concept to operations of a uranium Glovebox project in 3 years
  • Restoration of the Wick Airport to its World War 2 length and capability
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