Dounreay decom scheme attracts 100 firms – including film makers

The Dounreay nuclear testing facility in Caithness

A total of one hundred companies – including some film makers – have registered an interest in a scheme to find innovative decommissioning solutions at Scotland’s oldest nuclear reactor site in the Highlands.

A variety of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) including engineering consultancies and soil remediation experts are among those who have signalled their interest in supporting one of Europe’s most complex decommissioning programmes.

They have signed up to LINC – liaise, innovate, network and collaborate – with Dounreay, a former nuclear site in Caithness.

Two of those registered were among five companies that recently took part in a workshop to assess options for size-reducing components in the Prototype Fast Reactor.

IKM Consulting and AJ Engineering were given the opportunity to contribute ideas and work alongside existing suppliers in the first project launched as part of the scheme.

Stephen Adamson, head of commercial services, said: “This felt like the perfect way to launch as SMEs collaborated with existing supply chain companies to develop solutions.

“I am delighted that one of the companies had never worked with us before and even more impressed that 80% of the 100 companies to register have the potential to support us for the first time.”

John Harper, reactors principal engineer, added: “There is a great deal of expertise within these smaller organisations that we need to tap into.

“Many of these companies haven’t worked in the nuclear industry before, but there is no doubt that their expertise will benefit our decommissioning programme.”

A recent event in Aberdeen, organised by the Energy Industries Council, added more companies from the oil and gas industry to the pool of talent registered.

Sellafield in Cumbria has now launched its own version of LINC, increasing opportunities for collaboration between the two sites and their supply chain companies.