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Graham Construction preferred for £100m Dounreay nuclear waste job

Graham Construction has been chosen as the preferred bidder by Dounreay Site Restoration for a £100 million nuclear waste facility in Scotland.

The Northern Irish firm beat off rival bids from BAM Nuttall, Black & Veatch and MBM, a joint venture between Morrison, Balfour Beatty and Morgan Sindall to win the contract for Scotland’s largest nuclear waste facility.

The contract award for the two-year construction programme is expected by the end of March subject to NDA approval.

Up to 100 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with a quarter of the work expected to be sub-contracted to local companies. The NDA will invest up to £4 million in a community benefit fund associated with the development which is an essential part of the infrastructure needed to complete the decommissioning and closure of the former nuclear research site.

Director at Graham Construction, Leo Martin said: “We are delighted to be announced as preferred bidder on this contract. This is a very important project for us, in a market sector which we are looking to expand into further. We are very much looking forward to delivering this important project for DSRL.”

The contract is for the design and construction of two sub-surface vaults for the disposal of solid low-level radioactive waste from the site clean-up. It will be based on target cost design and build contract under the NEC conditions.

DSRL has planning consent for up to six vaults adjacent to the site but hopes to reduce the number that need to be built through waste minimisation practices in decommissioning.

Project manager at DSRL, Audrey Cooper said: “The design stage of the work is an opportunity to improve the scheme and take into account valuable feedback from local stakeholders, while still working within the constraints of the planning consent. I expect the first two vaults to be completed by mid-2013, which is two years earlier than previously indicated.”

Decommissioning of Dounreay and the adjacent Vulcan nuclear facility is expected to produce up to 175,000m3 of solid LLW, including 38,000m3 of waste due to be retrieved from a series of disused disposal pits on site that date from the 1950s.

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