World first process achieves significant hazard reduction at Dounreay/ One of the most significant hazards at Dounreay has been removed, following 4 years of complex problem solving, in a 40 hour operation. Around 1,810 litres of radioactive sodium coolant (approximately 1.7 tonnes) remaining in a ‘heel’ pool at the base of the reactor vessel in the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) has been pumped out using specially designed equipment. Removing the heel pool was a major hurdle in the programme that has now been overcome, as the amount of liquid metal had to be reduced before the interior of the reactor vessel could be treated. It paves the way for the next step in the decommissioning of PFR to take place. The project continued through the pandemic, with the team following COVID-19 safe ways of working to keep themselves and their colleagues protected.
NDA 16th July 2021 read more »