The team responsible for decommissioning the former fast reactor research site in Caithness lifted the trophy for best safety programme at an event in London last week. It comes in a year when the organisation has achieved its lowest total recordable incident rate since records began and just weeks after marking 12 months since a lost accident.
Dounreay was put forward for the award by Babcock subsidiary Cavendish Nuclear which, as one of 3 companies forming the Cavendish Dounreay Partnership parent body organisation, is responsible for decommissioning the site on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
Phil Craig, Dounreay Managing Director, said:
These awards are a way of acknowledging the best of the best within a group made up of more than 35,000 staff operating across multiple countries. I am incredibly proud that our team stood alongside and beat very worthy finalists, not only from the nuclear sector, but others including aviation, land and marine.
It recognises that the team has not only maintained its focus on safety and compliance while delivering some of the most complex and challenging clean-up projects, but also that it is continuously improving.
Chief Nuclear Officer Steve Beckitt, who collected the award, added:
This success belongs to everyone at Dounreay. We have worked hard to improve processes but this is really about everyone being committed to our aspiration that everyone should go home safe every day.
Alan Cumming, Director of Nuclear Operations at the NDA, said:
Safety comes first when delivering the decommissioning mission across the NDA Group. It is good to see the workforce at Dounreay being recognised for the excellent work they have done in the last year to keep focused on safety, continuously improve and achieve estate leading results.
Dounreays total recordable incident rate, an internationally recognised scale for recording safety performance, currently stands at 0.04 - the lowest since records began in 2009. Steve said:
We are proud of the award but this is a continuous journey and our aim is zero. Our programme will get even more challenging with nuclear operations, waste management, construction and demolition projects all running alongside each other. It is vital that we remain focused so that we can decommission the site safely and compliantly, not only to meet our commitments to our customer and regulators, but because we want t