A US firm has teamed up with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) to bid for contracts to clean up nuclear power stations in Britain.
Dounreay is one of several nuclear plants on the clean-up list
The UKAEA has formed an alliance with Colorado-based CH2M Hill and UK engineering firm Amec to bid for the contracts, valued at £56bn ($99bn).
The three will also try to win deals abroad, including in eastern Europe and in former Soviet Union countries.
Twenty nuclear sites are due to be decommissioned in the UK.
These include Sellafield in Cumbria, Dounreay and Chapelcross in Scotland, as well as Sizewell A in Suffolk and Trawsfynydd in north Wales.
"The decommissioning market is now opening up to competition and it is our aim to maintain our leading role," said Dipesh Shah, chief executive of UKAEA.