Site Restoration Strategy

The overarching strategy for site restoration is fundamentally shaped by the vision for the future use of the site. There may be economic drivers for land to be reused, or social factors, depending on the location of the site. In the special case of historic nuclear sites, community consultation is usually a particularly important factor, and shapes the “end state” objectives for such sites.

Once the site’s end state has been defined, options for achieving an appropriate condition need to be developed and examined. If the end state is scheduled to be achieved a long time in the future (e.g. due to the complexities of site decommissioning), interim target states associated with ongoing site management may become the priority, as staging posts to the final state. Similar interim or final end states can often be achieved in various ways, and deciding on the best strategy is a key decision that can have major financial implications. For example, the restoration timescales may be short or long. Contamination could be immobilised in-situ or removed. For the most complex sites, the route to the end state may involve detailed interactions e.g. associated with details of the decommissioning waste management approach – in some cases, facilities will need to be built to deal with decommissioning wastes, meaning managing construction is part of site restoration.

Quintessa has been supporting the development of restoration strategies for more than a decade, at sites like Dounreay – which is at the forefront of nuclear site decommissioning. This has often involved working closely with the site’s staff and understanding the subtleties of the sites history, social and environmental setting. We have also been central players in programmes like SAFEGROUNDS that have built guidance for contaminated land in a consultative way. Throughout, we can bring capabilities for understanding the potential risks from the site, and making structured decisions on its restoration.

Image copyright Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and NDA