Ayrshire firm wins share of £20m nuclear decommissioning contract

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A FAMILY-owned construction company in Ayrshire is hoping to expand its specialist engineering subsidiary after winning a share of a £20 million contract on the decommissioning of Scotland’s Magnox reactors.

McLaughlin Construction in Irvine is one of six UK companies named in a new framework contract awarded by Magnox, the contractor in charge of running down the ten-strong fleet of eponymous British nuclear reactors. Staff from McLaughlin’s DML division will be employed in Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire and Hunterston A in Ayrshire over the next five years.

Director Paul McLaughlin said the contract was a boost for his £6m-turnover company. Given the size of the projects and the demands of working on a nuclear site, the next goal is to win contracts in similarly demanding sectors such as engineering and utilities.

“We set up the DML division to utilise our skills and expertise in this area, and to try and roll that out elsewhere,” McLaughlin said. “It is a good award for us as we try to win other contracts.”

The award is an extension of an existing relationship between the two, as McLaughlin has worked with Magnox on smaller maintenance contracts for the past 15 years. Programme director Alan Bladon said construction and maintenance would be a “major part” of running down the sites.

“Most people associate decommissioning with demolition, but there is also a requirement to build and maintain additional facilities which will help reduce the hazards associated with the legacy from nuclear generation,” he said.