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TITLE
Dounreay Experimental Reactor Establishment
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_5915
PLACENAME
Dounreay
DISTRICT
Caithness - Western
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Reay
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
37553
KEYWORDS
nuclear power
reactors
buildings
cliffs
rocks
bays
Dounreay Experimental Reactor Establishment

Construction of the Dounreay Nuclear Power Development Establishment began in March 1955 on a disused wartime airfield, approximately 13 km to the west of Thurso. Three nuclear reactors were built on the site, operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). The first of these reactors to commence construction was the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR). It was surrounded by a steel sphere, measuring 41 metres in diameter, and has become a distinctive feature of the local landscape.

3000 people were employed at the Dounreay complex during its construction, and 2000 were employed when the establishment opened. At its height in the 1970s, Dounreay employed approximately 3500 people. The influx of workers and their families to the area saw Thurso expand significantly, and undoubtedly Dounreay provided a significant boost to the local economy.

The last operational reactor at Dounreay was taken offline in 1994. While the UKAEA remain as site operators, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority took ownership of Dounreay in April 2005. The plant still retains a significant workforce to carry out the decommissioning process.

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Dounreay Experimental Reactor Establishment

CAITHNESS: Reay

nuclear power; reactors; buildings; cliffs; rocks; bays

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

Construction of the Dounreay Nuclear Power Development Establishment began in March 1955 on a disused wartime airfield, approximately 13 km to the west of Thurso. Three nuclear reactors were built on the site, operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). The first of these reactors to commence construction was the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR). It was surrounded by a steel sphere, measuring 41 metres in diameter, and has become a distinctive feature of the local landscape. <br /> <br /> 3000 people were employed at the Dounreay complex during its construction, and 2000 were employed when the establishment opened. At its height in the 1970s, Dounreay employed approximately 3500 people. The influx of workers and their families to the area saw Thurso expand significantly, and undoubtedly Dounreay provided a significant boost to the local economy. <br /> <br /> The last operational reactor at Dounreay was taken offline in 1994. While the UKAEA remain as site operators, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority took ownership of Dounreay in April 2005. The plant still retains a significant workforce to carry out the decommissioning process.