Waste is the product of decommissioning.
The clean-out and demolition of Britain’s fast reactor experiment generates significant quantities - from conventional rubbish through to hazardous industrial materials such as asbestos and chemical waste, and different types of radioactive waste in gaseous, liquid and solid states.
Waste minimisation is very important, both environmentally and financially. Some of the waste, such as paper, rubble and metal, can be recycled. But other waste may be hazardous or have no practical further use.
The waste services team at Dounreay plays a vital role in support of the decommissioning programme.
Some wastes are quite simple to manage and there are well-established routes open for their disposal. But other types of waste may not have a disposal route or treatment in place yet, so safe storage is needed meantime.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency regulates waste disposal. For radioactive waste, the site is bound by the terms of an Authorisation granted by SEPA. This regulates the types and quantities of radioactive waste that can be disposed of. Compliance with the Authorisation is essential.
The key policy principles in how waste is managed at Dounreay can be summarised as:
• Protection of the public, workforce and environment
• Keeping radiological doses and environmental impact as low as reasonably achievable
• Converting wastes into a passively safe state as soon as practicable
• Minimising discharges through the use of best practicable means
• Strategic planning
• Application of the waste hierarchy
• Consideration of best practicable environmental option/best practicable means in the selection of waste management options
• Proximity principle
• Sustainable development
• Use of good practice guidance, such as the industry code of practice on clearance and exemption
• Application of SEPA waste strategy for non-radioactive wastes.
Site management is committed to managing radioactive waste at Dounreay in accordance with national policy and regulations designed to protect workers, the environment and the wider community from harm.
Interim Integrated Waste Strategy (February 2008)
Waste Fact sheet (April 2008)
See our News Room to read the latest news stories:
- Public consultation begins on Dounreay waste disposal application - October 2012
- NDA sees savings in integrated waste approach - May 2012
- Scottish Government rules on waste substitution - March 2012
- Blasting to begin at waste disposal site - February 2012
- Public consultation for new Dounreay waste disposal facility - January 2012
- NDA examines options for higher activity waste - December 2011
- Work begins to bury Dounreay experiment - November 2011
- Dounreay sets out what will stay and what will go - September 2011
- NDA issues guidance on storage of higher activity waste - August 2011
- New vaults signal start of waste clearance - March 2011
- Dounreay rubble recycling makes concrete savings - February 2011
- Waste to be managed near site, near surface - policy - January 2011
- Government consults on Dounreay waste substitution - December 2010
- Dounreay joins UK review of waste management - September 2010
See Dounreay TV to view the latest film footage.
Hazardous intermediate level solid radioactive waste is handled remotely, with workers protected from radiation by thick walls
Radioactive waste accumulated inside remotely-operated cells and is now being cleaned up, sorted and packaged