Leak proves the value of award-winning safety standards
November 09, 2011
The British Safety Council has named Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd one of the country’s top companies for its standards of environmental management.
Britain’s leading workplace safety body audited the systems in place at the site to protect the environment from harm during decommissioning of the major chemical and radiological hazards.
The company achieved the highest marks against its five-star audit, allowing it to be considered for the premier Globe of Honour.
It was poised to announce DSRL had been awarded a Globe of Honour last month when a litre of radioactive effluent leaked during the destruction of liquid metal from the clean-out of the experimental fast reactor on October 7.
DSRL was excluded from the announcement of its annual awards October 17 while the organisation obtained assurance that safety systems in place around the plant successfully protected the environment from harm.
DSRL has now received confirmation of the award from the British Safety Council.
Alan Scullion, the company’s director of assurance, said: “We work to high standards of environmental management that reflect the scale of the radiological and chemical hazards here that need to be reduced and destroyed.
“Last month’s event demonstrated how these standards work in practice. The risk of a leak had been identified during the planning for this stage of the reactor clean-up and sufficient controls were built into the design of the plant to ensure there was no harm to any individual or the environment from such an event.
“It proved the value of our environmental management systems and the importance we attach to decommissioning this site in a way that does not harm people or the environment.”
Destruction of the hazardous liquid metal resumed after a temporary shutdown lasting seven days.
The Globe of Honour is presented to organisations that demonstrate “best practice and set exemplary standards in environmental management”.
Five winners were announced by the British Safety Council in October and a sixth, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, has now been confirmed.
DSRL also collected the council’s Sword of Honour for being among the top companies for worker safety - one of only three companies to receive both awards.