Dounreay Case Study

Finding value in a retired nuclear reactor site

For more than 50 years Dounreay was known as the centre of the UK’s fast reactor research and development. Today, it’s Scotland’s largest decommissioning project and widely recognised as one of Europe’s most complex nuclear closure programmes.

The team leading this work has set itself the tall ambition to be recognised as a centre of excellence for nuclear decommissioning. Finding value in redundant equipment is a key part of this.

At Dounreay, nuclear and environmental safety are top priorities to ensure that no radioactive contamination or asbestos leaves the site. The site had previously disposed of some equipment through a mixture of scrap or conventional waste routes.

But for those assets clear from contamination or asbestos – anything from vehicles to tools, and fence panels to industrial ventilation fans – Dounreay needed a wider market of buyers than the local area could offer. The asset management team, headed by Michael Jones, collaborated with re-use experts Ramco to ensure that their redundant assets could have a fresh lease of life rather than be scrapped.

A partnership to power the circular economy

Experienced reuse experts with specialist radiation training and on-site storage facilities, Ramco was the ideal partner. Through its extensive network of global buyers, Ramco sells redundant equipment to the buoyant second-hand market.

Dounreay welcomed Ramco’s circular economy approach which helps deliver on its net zero goals by breathing new life into surplus equipment and diverting good assets from landfill, helping the site to improve its net zero rating.

Shifting mindsets and spreading the word

Following a successful trial period, Dounreay is continuing its relationship with Ramco. Where redundant equipment was once viewed as potential waste, in just six months Ramco has helped to clear nine lorry loads of assets - saving around 70,000kg of equipment from going to landfill.

Mick Jones-1



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