The original stack from the Dounreay Fast Reactor has been demolished after just a few months, leaving over 20t of low-level, scrap metal waste.
The demolition carried out by Scottish-based Core Cut, a British company, which specialises in DiamonWire sawing. Before the team could start cutting work, Dounreay workers climbed inside the stack to decontaminate the interior, and remove the remaining pipe work.
After this was completed, the Core Cut team moved in and spent a number of days on site turning the stack into scrap. The workers wore protective oversuits and respirators to protect them from any possibility of contaminated dust as they cut through the quarter inch thick steel.
Each cut had to be meticulously set up and took on average half a day to complete. The stack was cut into 5m lengths, and then cut in half to form two half-pipes which could be stacked one inside the other.
DSRL project manager Graeme Rennie commented: “The size reduction of the redundant DFR stack was quite a challenge especially in severe weather conditions.
“A huge amount of credit is due to the project team, who through their initiative and sheer hard work and determination, completed the task within a matter of months.”
The 24 tonnes of steel was consigned as low-level waste in industrial-sized containers.
Related ArticlesReactor conversion HEU-LEU amendment approved by US and Russia NNSA converts two US research reactors from HEU to LEU Nuclear material sites 'dangerously insecure'