US engineering giant Jacobs, which employs more than 1,000 people in Scotland, has won a contract to work on an important stage of the clean-up of the site of the former Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness.

Jacobs will play a key role in coordinating the program to clear and treat radioactive waste in a shaft and silo at the plant near Thurso, under a contract worth around $10m (£7m).

It won the contract months after buying the nuclear engineering business operated by Aberdeen-based Wood for £250m.

Jacobs has been appointed by Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) to provide design services on a project it said aimed to bring about tangible progress toward the clean-up of a site that housed nuclear reactors.

READ MORE: Caithness smart battery make plans to float on stock market amid boom in sector

This will involve dealing with solid waste and liquid effluent contained in the shaft and silo, which were used for disposal of intermediate-level waste.

DSRL said: “Radioactive waste was historically consigned to the 65 metre deep shaft and the silo, an underground waste storage vault, over several decades starting in the late 1950s. Now the higher activity waste must be retrieved and repackaged, suitable for long-term storage in a safe modern facility.”

Jacobs said DSRL expects the contract to be worth $10.4 million (£8 million) over six and a half years, with potential for additional revenue as additional work packages are identified.

In 2004 Jacobs bought Glasgow-based Babtie, in a deal it was thought valued the firm at around £90m. Babtie had been a fixture of the business world in Glasgow since 1895.

READ MORE: North Sea oil services heavyweight praised for response to renewables revolution

Jacobs completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the PA Consulting business earlier this week.

Power generation stopped at Dounreay in 1994.