Reactor control room moves to a new home
7th December 2014
Last week saw the last of the Dounreay Materials Testing Reactor (DMTR) control room panels shipped off site and transferred to their new home in local five-star visitor attraction Caithness Horizons.
The control room panels and control desk have been donated to Caithness Horizons and reconstructed at the museum to form the basis of a new permanent exhibition representing Dounreay's significant part in Scotland's industrial heritage.
The project team have developed a special framework to display the control room in the newly refurbished exhibition area and a small amount of restoration work has been carried out ready for display.
In June 1955 construction of the DMTR commenced. It was constructed to test the effects of irradiation on metals. The reactor was contained in a steel pressure vessel, and had a thermal output of 25MWt. It was housed in this type of vessel because of its shape and became known affectionately as the ‘upturned dustbin’.
The construction was completed in February 1958 and DMTR went critical in May 1958, making it the first operational nuclear reactor on Scottish soil. In May 1969, DMTR closed for the last time.
In order to try and preserve and interpret the history of Dounreay for future generations, a Heritage Advisory Panel has been set up between Caithness Horizons, Historic Scotland, High Life Highland, the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and DSRL.
One of the main functions of the Heritage Advisory Panel is to ensure that objects collected at Dounreay are given to the appropriate museum and preserved for future generations to enjoy.
The new exhibition is a welcome addition to Caithness Horizons and will be open to the public in the new year with an official opening in the spring. Funding for the new interpretation panels has been secured from Museums Galleries Scotland.
Joanne Howdle, curator of Caithness Horizons, said: "We are delighted to house the DMTR panels as part of the new Dounreay exhibition area. It’s vital that Dounreay’s unique heritage is preserved and displayed for our visitors and future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Over the decades Dounreay has had a massive impact on the local area and plays a significant part in the industrial heritage of Caithness and north Sutherland. These panels complement the existing Dounreay story in our museum and form a striking vision in our newly extended exhibition."
Eleven young people who have completed their Dounreay apprentice training are "very much a part of the future of the far north." Guest speaker Jamie Stone MP told the audience at the apprentice indenture ceremony that took place last Friday that, as Dounreay continues to decommission, the newly indentured apprentices would be an important part of the area's ability to offer a skilled and innovative workforce. Dounreay Managing Director and former nuclear industry apprentice Phil Craig added: “I am very proud that we are celebrating yet another group of talented apprentices.
The biggest networking event in Europe for nuclear decommissioning will be held in Manchester. 2 November 2017.
A unique new archive, funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has opened its doors to the public for the first time, bringing together historical nuclear records from all over the UK. Speaking today at the Nucleus (Nuclear and Caithness Archive) in Wick, NDA chairman Stephen Henwood, said:Today we see a new chapter in the important role Caithness has played in the UK's nuclear history.
Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded a contract to design and build a new effluent treatment plant at Dounreay. The agreement signals a landmark move for the Caithness site as the first to incorporate socio-economic commitments following the introduction of a new procurement policy earlier this year.
An off the shelf CCTV camera is providing crystal clear images from the depths of Dounreay's Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR). Fifty years on from the construction of PFR, the reactor decommissioning team is viewing footage that will enable it to pull apart the innards of the second and last fast reactor to be built in the UK.
The last of the higher activity liquid waste produced during Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) fuel reprocessing has been made safe for future generations. It is an important milestone in the immobilisation of the historic liquid waste, known as raffinate, created from reprocessing undertaken during the operation of Dounreay's three reactors.
The destruction of one of the highest hazards remaining in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) estate has been completed at Dounreay. Around 68 tonnes of highly radioactive liquid metal coolant was removed from the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) and safely destroyed over a ten year period.
Thursday 10 September, 12.45 -16.30 Caithness Horizons, Thurso (Please note that lunch is not provided, however you are welcome to have lunch at The Caithness Horizons Cafe prior to the event) Running a craft practice is addictive - there is always more to try, new ideas to explore and projects to develop. Growing your business allows you to confidently pursue these exciting new opportunities to strengthen your profile, expand your range of customers and generate healthy profits.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), in association with the Site Licence Companies (SLCs), invite you to ‘connect and innovate' at their fifth annual event. Entry is free of charge to delegates and exhibitors.
The PFR stone table with the inscription 'Out of Caithness to the World' will become the centre piece of the NDA Archive when it opens its doors in 2017. Construction of the new facility has begun at Wick and was officially opened by David Flear, Dounreay Stakeholder Group chairman, when he cut the first turf at an opening ceremony in August.
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