A notice published today in the Official Journal of the European Union seeks expressions of interest from companies capable of building a plant to grout low-level radioactive waste prior to its disposal at Dounreay.
Compacted waste from the clean-out and demolition of the site is currently stored in shipping containers and these need to be filled with grout before they can be moved into underground vaults next to the site.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd today started a competitive tendering process for the award of a contract in March 2012 to build the grout plant.
The new plant needs to be ready by summer 2013 to prepare for the first disposal of waste in spring 2014.
The demolition of Dounreay is expected to fill up to 7000 shipping containers with contaminated debris. Adding grout will give each a maximum weight of approximately 40 tons.
More than 500 containers have filled up so far with compacted low-level waste and these will be among the first tranche to be filled with grout and deposited in the vaults when the disposal site opens.
Construction of the first vault is scheduled to start in October this year. Graham Construction was awarded the contract earlier this year.
Operation of the disposal facility on land adjacent to the licensed site is subject to an authorisation from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. DSRL has applied for an authorisation.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has allocated £4 million for a community benefit fund attached to the development.