Wick To Receive Huge Volume Of Nuclear Records At New Archive Centre By 2016
19th August 2013
Dounreay's huge collection of historic documents will be among the first items to be stored in the new archive to be built in Caithness.
The National Nuclear Archive is due to be open for business by 2016, said NDA's director for Dounreay, Nigel Lowe.
The facility will be purpose built beside Wick John O'Groats Airport, and is expected to cost in the region of £20million.
It will house up to 30 million digital records, papers and photos covering the history of the UK's civil nuclear industry, including archives from UKAEA in Harwell.
It will be open just in time for the majority of the documents in the Dounreay archive to be moved offsite, as the existing building is scheduled to be vacated at the end of 2016.
Dounreay archivist Ian Pearson says that the site's archive currently holds 250 tonnes of records stretching nearly four kilometres. Some of these date back to the early days on construction and operation of Dounreay.
The new archive will be run by a specialist contractor on behalf of the NDA, and is expected to create up to 20 new jobs.
Bringing the National Nuclear Archive to Caithness is just part of the NDA's socio economic commitment to the area which has seen it spend more than £10m on support for local projects including Scrabster and Wick Harbours, the Caithness Chamber of Commerce and the Engineering Technology facility at the North Highland College.
Nigel Lowe said "Locating the archive in Wick is part of the NDA's commitment to this area in the post Dounreay Interim End State era.
History has shown that similar legacies in other industries and other areas, have always stood the test of time."
I feel very privileged that this has fallen on my watch."
There has been a strong awareness that as Dounreay runs down employment in the far north could be difficult. Several public bodies and organisations have been moving relentlessly to address these problems. Highland Council is concentrating on Capital Investment in the area while Highlands and Islands Enterprise has kept the pressure on developing new opportunities in energy projects such as are now being seen in early development in the Pentland firth and Moray firth. Investing in Harbour infrastructure projects such as at Scrabster.
Highland council has been focussiing on elements that fal within their remit such as education. Modest improvements at Thurso high have been overshadowed by the unique investments announced for Wick where all five schools one secondary and four primaries wil be replaced in a flurry of activity in the town in the next two years. In one of the biggest projects ever seen in education anywhere in Scotland Wick is to get a new high School and on the same site new primary and nursery facilites to make a 3 to 18 campus with community swimming pool and library on site. The whole lot will be joined by a covered street to take account of the sometimes ferocious weather in the far north.
On the north of Wick a new proimary will see the amalgamation of two schools into one new one.
The local childrens home run by Highland council also is to be provided with anew state of the art facility near the High school.
Wick Harbour authority is also moving forward with investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the NDA to instal a new heavy lift pad to enable the transfer iof heavy engineering and large itesm arriving for marine energy schems which might see several transports at Wick every week for a couple of years or more just for the Moray firth projects alone.
With Scrabster , Wick and gills harbours all gearing up for the new work there is certain to be increasing activity which the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership hope will offset some of the run down at Dounreay.
The Nuclear Archive for Wick is projected to supply 20 high quality jobs and will be a welcome addition to the area.
From the Dounreasy collection shows a Reactor Void
- Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)
- Highland Council : Thurso Service Point
- Dounreay Stakeholder Group
- Cavendish Dounreay Partnership Ltd