Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Dounreay Heritage Annual Report 2018 To 2019

3rd December 2019

Dounreay heritage strategy - Updated 26 November 2019

The Dounreay Heritage Strategy was published in 2010 and is managed by the DSRL heritage officer with advice from a panel of external experts from Historic Environment Scotland (HES), National Museums Scotland (NMS), Highlife Highland (HLH) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The Heritage Advisory Panel held its ninth meeting on 26 March 2019 in Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archives.

In February 2019, the Caithness Horizons Board took the decision to close the facility due to a number of reasons. Representatives from HES and NMS have offered to provide practical advice and guidance to the Caithness Horizons Board or the Highland Council, about issues relating to managing a museum. It is hoped that the facility will re-open under new management.

Key Activities for 2018/19

Collection of objects

37 objects were collected throughout the year;

Photomultiplier electron tube

Boron carbide pellets

PFR demountable sub assembly spares

Site emergency alarm button from DFR control room

DFR postcard

Formal card invites from Dounreay Director for DFR and PFR ceremonies

Three authorised appointment cards for shift manager roles

Various letters to G Blagden from 1950s and 1960s

1983 UKAEA nuclear safety course - programme of visits and lectures

Attendance certificate for advanced reactor technology course

Dounreay pen

Two UKAEA key rings

UKAEA screwdriver set

Crane driver's certificate dated 1981

Caithness Glass bowl on wooden plinth for UKAEA winners of "Leaders in innovation" in 2005

2018 NDA mug

Metal pin badge with DFR silhouette and "UKAEA Dounreay"

UKAEA eraser

Flexi armband

DFR postcard dated 1962

Densitometer for TLD film

20 finger thermoluminescent dosemeters (TLDs)

TLD "chips" and glass annealing plate

Two yellow plastic TLD badges

Two brass TLD powder sieves

Dosimetry services reference handbook - dated March 1999

UKAEA house rent cards for 1975/76 and 1976/77

House rent agreement

Dounreay House Owners Association constitution

ROC mug featuring ROC and Dounreay logos

Johnson Controls coaster for advertising the Dounreay helpdesk

Craft Apprentice signed competency certificate for electricity - dated 1977

UKAEA Dounreay booklet “Design office abbreviations, symbols and statements”

Industrial superannuation scheme booklet - dated 1973

UKAEA clear plastic ruler which incorporates a sliding jigsaw puzzle about learning

Leather wallet containing electrical safety rules dated 1999

UKAEA wallet with inserts for small information cards

The closure of Caithness Horizons Museum in February 2019 means that there is no local display of Dounreay objects. The Highland Council is now responsible for the collections in the museum.

Recording history

A process to capture the memories of those leaving the site is in place and nineteen forms were completed and returned. The form has 5 questions.

Other activities

Knowledge sharing presentations

James Gunn, Heritage Officer, gave a presentation at the international industrial heritage conference held in Wick on 23 June 2018, entitled; “Dounreay: past, present and future”. It was jointly organised by Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group and the Scottish Industrial Heritage Society. Fifty attendees came from the UK and Japan.

James also gave a presentation at the Kingston University London, to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research network “Nuclear cultural heritage: From knowledge to practice”. The international seminar had 36 attendees from the UK, Russia, USA and Lithuania.

James took part in the 2019 Caithness International Science Festival by giving a public talk about the early years of Dounreay. It was held at Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archives and was attended by 40 people. V&A Dundee Museum of Design

The V&A Dundee museum opened on 15 September 2018 and various representatives from Dounreay were invited and attended the preview day. The museum features a model of the DFR sphere, which is on loan from Caithness Horizons and initially also featured work by four Dounreay apprentices who created a travel app called “Wilderness” as part of a country-wide design relay project for the V&A. The museum expects over 500,000 visitors in the first year.

The sphere also features in a book entitled ”The story of Scottish design” edited by Philip Long & Joanna Norman, printed by Thames & Hudson. There is a photo and a drawing of the sphere.


Natalie Cubides-Brady, a film studies student, undertook filming at Dounreay and Caithness throughout 2018 as part of her studies. Entitled; “Beyond the north winds: A post nuclear reverie” it is due to be screened at a film festival in Switzerland in April 2019. Other international film festivals are being approached, including Edinburgh.

The film cannot be viewed until after various festival screenings take place, otherwise it will be disqualified. J Gunn and A MacConnell feature in the 25 minute film, which has a different approach to the usual Dounreay films.

Research studies

The University of the Highlands and Islands has two on-going doctoral studies that cover Dounreay and the nuclear industry. The thesis titles are:

“The Dounreay Nuclear Establishment and its impact on the Northern Highlands of Scotland”. This study will be finished in Summer 2019.

“Archiving a nuclear past: exploring the nuclear energy industry and its community impact in Britain.” Strategy

The NDA is intending to publish a national heritage strategy covering all its sites and it will be based on the learning experiences of the Dounreay heritage strategy.

James Gunn

Heritage Officer

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd


20 May 2019


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Contract For World's Deepest Nuclear Clean-up Awarded At DounreayThumbnail for article : Contract For World's Deepest Nuclear Clean-up Awarded At Dounreay
Dounreay has awarded a major contract as the world's deepest nuclear clean-up job gets underway.   Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, awarded the £7.5 million contract for "advanced transition works" at the 65 metre deep shaft and silo to Nuvia and its partner Graham Construction, through the site's decommissioning framework following a competitive tendering process.  
NDA Launches Leadership Partnership To Inspire Young Nuclear ProfessionalsThumbnail for article : NDA Launches Leadership Partnership To Inspire Young Nuclear Professionals
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has today launched a year-long partnership aimed at inspiring and supporting young people in the nuclear industry.   Chief Executive David Peattie announced the NDA's partnership with the Nuclear Institute's Young Generation Network (YGN) today at a special webinar for young professionals.  
NDA Calls For People To Have Their Say On Its StrategyThumbnail for article : NDA Calls For People To Have Their Say On Its Strategy
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has today published its fourth Draft Strategy and begun a 12-week public consultation.   The NDA regularly reviews its Strategy to ensure it has the right approach to decommissioning its 17 nuclear sites and benefits from the latest learning, best practice and can continue to deliver value for the taxpayer.  
Radioactive particles in the environment around Dounreay - Updates 17 AugustThumbnail for article : Radioactive particles in the environment around Dounreay - Updates 17 August
The updates for 2020 include - 17 August 2020 Attachment updated - Sandside beach near Dounreay particle finds 17 April 2020 Attachments updated: Dounreay foreshore particle finds Sandside near Dounreay particle finds 18 March 2020 Dounreay Foreshore particle finds document updated.   7 February 2020 Attachment updates - Dounreay foreshore particles finds and Sandside beach near Dounreay particles finds.  
Dounreay Explores Decommissioning With Robotics ExpertsThumbnail for article : Dounreay Explores Decommissioning With Robotics Experts
Dounreay is exploring ways of decommissioning with the help of robotics experts.   The nuclear site at Dounreay, which was the centre of the UK's research into fast reactor technology in the last century, is being cleaned up and taken apart.  
Nuclear Decommissioning Agency To Take Over Dounreay Site With No Job LossesThumbnail for article : Nuclear Decommissioning Agency To Take Over Dounreay Site With No Job Losses
DSRL and LLWR to become NDA subsidiaries.   The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced that Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) and LLW Repository Ltd (LLWR) will become wholly owned subsidiaries of the NDA next year.  
Two Dounreay officers recognised and rewarded by Chief ConstableThumbnail for article : Two Dounreay officers recognised and rewarded by Chief Constable
Two officers based at Dounreay received prestigious awards from Chief Constable Simon Chesterman this week in recognition of their long service and good conduct.   Supt Andy Peden, who is Operational Unit Commander (OUC) at Dounreay, received a Certificate of Service, having joined us in 1980.  
Dounreay Cash Reaches Groups In Need During Coronavirus LockdownThumbnail for article : Dounreay Cash Reaches Groups In Need During Coronavirus Lockdown
More than 30 community groups received help from a fund supported by Dounreay and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority during the COVID-19 crisis.   In March 2020, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd anticipated an upsurge in demand from community organisations for small-scale financial assistance.  
Dounreay helps motorbike charity support NHS in CaithnessThumbnail for article : Dounreay helps motorbike charity support NHS in Caithness
A charity which delivers vital medical supplies for the NHS is set to receive £10,000 from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL).   The cash will enable Highland and Islands Blood Bikes to establish a permanent presence in Caithness.  
Dounreay Accommodation Units Support Coronavirus ResponseThumbnail for article : Dounreay Accommodation Units Support Coronavirus Response
Around 80 portable accommodation units deemed surplus to requirements are being removed from the site and transported to England to be used as isolation cubicles in the prison service.   Known as Bunkabins, the demountable cabins have been located at the site for the last five years.