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Wick - upgrade

Old 18th Apr 2016, 14:56
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Wick - upgrade

Flying nuclear material from Scotland to US 'an option' - BBC News

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has said radioactive material could potentially be flown to and from Scotland and the US.
Last month, the UK and US governments agreed that material could be exchanged.

The NDA is funding improvement work to enhance the runway at Wick John O'Groats Airport.

The airport is about 30 miles (48km) from the Dounreay nuclear site.
Under the UK-US deal, it has been proposed that highly enriched uranium (HEU) stored at Dounreay be sent to the US.

The NDA said flying the material was among options being considered, but also said no decisions have been taken.

A spokeswoman for the NDA said: "The protection of the public and personnel is of paramount importance at all times. For those reason we are unable to disclose information about the transport arrangement that's could jeopardise the security of this material. It has been proposed that a quantity of HEU may be exchanged with the US in return for material to be used in the production of medical isotopes for Europe. The upgrades to the airport in Wick will be done to ensure that this is one possible option to allow the transport to take place."

A spokesman for Wick John O'Groats Airport, which is operated by Highlands and Islands Airport Limited, said: "Work will get under way later this month on a project to refurbish the runway at Wick John O'Groats Airport in order to enhance its operational capability and, in particular, its ability to accommodate larger aircraft. "This work will be carried out on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The majority of work will be carried out overnight and the project is expected to be completed in August."

Radioactive material from the civil nuclear industry has been transported by plane in the past, the NDA said.

A spokesman for the authority added that funding improvements to the airport near Wick secured "the option of moving material by air on a range of aircraft".

The Dounreay nuclear power complex is being decommissioned and the site cleaned up. Most of the radioactive materials, such as fuel, held there is being moved to other locations, including Sellafield in Cumbria where it will be reprocessed or stored.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 15:29
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Hope they don't straighten 26 - I used to love landing on a "banana" shaped runway
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 06:39
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If these flights take place at least you'll be able to see Wick in the dark in the years ahead...
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 07:18
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Dounreay had its own 6,000ft runway that still looks intact despite being abandoned for years.
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 08:15
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According to this interesting article, the Dounreay runway is now used as a car park

Dounreay
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 13:26
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Dounreays runway is now a carpark complete with lampposts I think surface is now pretty broken up. Don't expect HIAL to make full use of Runway upgrade all they are interested in is INVERNESS
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 07:37
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Maybe a candidate for some subsidised air service?

Request stop on the way to Orkney or Shetland???
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 10:16
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Wick has been used for spent nuclear fuel flights for years. BAe146s to Carlisle, C-130s to Switzerland and elsewhere. Before that it was DanAir HS748s into half of the old WW2 runway (3000ft-ish) at Dounreay, using nothing more than an NDB approach with no DME. I think they also used Bandeirantes.

Seems to me the biggest concern about more nuclear flights at Wick ought to be the complete absence of controlled airspace and low level ATC radar cover there.
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Old 19th Sep 2016, 00:20
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First shipment has left... it was odd being in Wick last week and seeing the lights of the runway in the evening - made the airport look huge!

Dounreay cargo leaves Wick for USA | John O'Groat Journal | News
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Old 19th Sep 2016, 04:29
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So what did the 8 million upgrade actually pay for?
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Old 19th Sep 2016, 07:27
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With a 1400m landing distance available at Wick, intrigued to know what transatlantic-capable aircraft they intend to use to fly waste to the US?

8m would pay for some useful extension of the runway......
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Old 19th Sep 2016, 08:48
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intrigued to know what transatlantic-capable aircraft they intend to use to fly waste to the US?
The link above shows it was a C17!
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Old 19th Sep 2016, 15:05
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They used to fly nuclear material from EGCC to Dounrey and vice-versa in the 1980s, I believe? Air Kilroe, in a King Air, to EGPY.

Last edited by ZOOKER; 19th Sep 2016 at 15:16.
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 08:20
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So what did the 8 million upgrade actually pay for?
Good question. There's been no change in runway length, declared distances, quoted bearing strengths of runway, apron or taxiways for some years, and the PCNs are all well below the ACN of a C-17.

RFF Category also unchanged at 4 with 5 or 6 available by arrangement. But I understand a C17 is Cat 8.
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 08:33
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The C-17 didn't depart directly for its destination, it transited to another secure local airfield with a runway of about 2,700 metres to take-on fuel for the journey...
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 09:05
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Routed via Lossiemouth on both inbound and outbound legs.

But don't tell anyone.
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 17:21
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If these flights take place at least you'll be able to see Wick in the dark in the years ahead...
You mean it would light The Wick............
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 18:58
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So what did the 8 million upgrade actually pay for
If HIAL were involved a new coffee machine for the manager would be about it
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 20:42
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Displaced Threshold at each end was completely dug out new concrete base poured and the whole length was resurfaced. Think there is still some displacement at each end but its not as large a displacement as it was ! If only they could make use of the upgrade and generate some new business now but knowing HIAL all they are interested in is INVERNESS
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Old 21st Sep 2016, 13:17
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Runway declared lengths, thresholds and bearing strengths are still exactly the same as they have been for years. Maybe HIAL hasn't got round to telling the AIP yet?
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