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Learning from experience in the delivery of a complex decommissioning project

March 19, 2019 -7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) Synopsis

The aim of the Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) is to deliver a safe, environmentally responsible and cost effective solution for the dismantling of 27 of the UK’s defueled nuclear powered submarines after they have left service with the Royal Navy.

Previous international efforts at submarine dismantling, including France, Russia and the United States, have involved the isolation and removal of the entire section surrounding the reactor plant. This is called the reactor compartment separation technique. The reactor compartment, when removed, is then stored as a single entity for each submarine.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has opted to remove all radioactive waste from the submarine, including its systems and components, reducing the volume of radioactive waste disposals and maximising the volume of steel that can be recycled. This phase of SDP is termed the initial dismantling phase and this will be undertaken at two sites including Rosyth Royal Dockyard and Devonport Royal Dockyard. Babcock International Group is the Nuclear Licensee at both of these sites and is nominated as the MoD’s lead supplier for this phase of the programme.

This presentation will describe the strategic approach to the SDP programme, the programme structure and scope, infrastructure upgrades required to support the radioactive waste deplanting process and a forward looking view of the challenges that lie ahead.

The presentation will be themed around Learning from Experience in a complex project and will include a reflection on the importance of Project Management processes, tools, mechanisms, stakeholder engagement and developing the personnel required to deliver the objectives. The presentation will be delivered by Mike Donnington from Babcock.

Refreshments, coffee and tea, will be available from 18:30.

Mike Donnington Biography

Mike started working for Babcock International Group in 2003 after he graduated from Plymouth University. He has held numerous positions in the Submarine Business Unit, including Refuelling Facility Manager and the Vanguard Main Static Converter Project Manager, where he was responsible for delivering a major equipment upgrade on the Vanguard Class Submarines. This was one of the largest equipment upgrades undertaken on an in-service submarine platform in the UK.

Mike achieved his Master of Science at Lancaster University in 2006 and obtained Chartered Engineer status in 2009. He is currently the Head of the Submarine Dismantling Project for Babcock and is based at Rosyth in Scotland, where the dismantling activities are being undertaken.


March 19, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Room E1.02, Exeter College Technology Centre, Exeter College, College Way, Exeter, EX1 3PZ
Room E1.02 Exeter College Technology Centre, College Way
Exeter, EX1 3PZ United Kingdom
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01823 432740