DSRL preferred bidder for LLW contract

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd has selected Graham Construction as its preferred bidder for the design and build of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility.

The company has headquarters in County Down, Northern Ireland, and operates throughout Scotland from offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh. It was chosen after a competitive tendering exercise from a short-list of five companies.

Subject to NDA approval and completion of a number of procedures, the contract award is expected by the end of March.

The development is an essential part of the infrastructure needed to complete the decommissioning and closure of the former nuclear research site.

The contract is for the design and construction of two sub-surface vaults for the disposal of solid low-level radioactive waste from the site clean-up. It will be based on target cost design and build contract under the NEC conditions.

DSRL has planning consent for up to six vaults adjacent to the site but hopes to reduce the number that need to be built through waste minimisation practices in decommissioning.

Up to 100 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with a quarter of the work expected to be sub-contracted to local companies. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will invest up to £4 million in a community benefit fund associated with the development

Subject to regulatory and other consents, construction is scheduled to begin in autumn 2011 and take two years to complete.

The lifetime cost of the development is expected to be in the region of £100m.

Audrey Cooper, project manager at DSRL, said: “The design stage of the work is an opportunity to improve the scheme and take into account valuable feedback from local stakeholders, while still working within the constraints of the planning consent.

“I expect the first two vaults to be completed by mid-2013, which is two years earlier than previously indicated.”

Leo Martin, director at Graham Construction, said: “We are delighted to be announced as preferred bidder on this contract. This is a very important project for us, in a market sector which we are looking to expand into further. We are very much looking forward to delivering this important project for DSRL.”

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