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Vulcan Site at Dounreay: Defueling and Fuel Management

Volume 697: debated on Thursday 17 June 2021

On 25 March 2015, the then Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Sir Michael Fallon, made a statement about the findings of the Royal Navy nuclear reactor prototype review. At the time it was anticipated that defueling and fuel management activities would continue at the Vulcan naval reactor test establishment at Dounreay in Scotland until the end of 2022.

While I can confirm that the Ministry of Defence remains committed to the timely decommissioning of the Vulcan site, a recent review of the totality of fuel management activity has identified that the facilities used at Vulcan will now be required longer than originally planned. The Department will deliver its intent to remove fuel from the site as soon as is reasonably practicable and we will therefore pursue an effective balance of decommissioning delivery while meeting the need to support the extended scope of the operational work. It is not expected the decision to extend fuel management activity at the Vulcan site for up to three years will impact on the coherent approach being taken with the activity at the Dounreay civil site.