Giant tanks installed for reactor dismantling

Installation of two new twenty-seven tonne nitrogen tanks for the Dounreay Fast Reactor breeder building marks another notable step forward in preparation for taking apart the redundant reactor.

The breeder removal requires nitrogen gas as part of the process to dismantle the elements and package the slugs.

The existing nitrogen plant at DFR could not supply sufficient gas to the new purpose built building and following a review of the options a decision was taken to install new equipment.

Once a suitable position was agreed which allowed access for road tankers the planning, design and excavation works began.

Installation of the tanks was carried out by DSRL and its contractors on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in time to meet a performance target for the project, which cost in the region of £160K.

This is an essential element of the breeder removal process as it provides an inert atmosphere for the process cells and NaK cleaning process.

The next phase of work will be the installation and commissioning of the Magnox flask leak testing equipment. This is a £250K contract and involves installation of specialist equipment and commissioning with a “real” Magnox flask with support from Magnox to design a flask specifically for the breeder removal process.

Following this we will be gearing up for the testing and commissioning phase of the breeder removal.