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."
Employees from across the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority group have been honoured at a prestigious national awards ceremony in London. The Women in Nuclear (WiN) Annual Awards recognises those who have gone above and beyond to promote gender balance and diversity across the nuclear sector.
We're looking for your input to help shape future engagement. The on-line survey only takes 10-15 minutes to finish and gives stakeholders, with an interest in the NDA's decommissioning and clean-up mission, a chance to air their views on progress - and on how they can do things better.
As part of the nuclear sector deal, to foster ever-stronger links between the British and Japanese nuclear industry, Councillor Struan Mackie who represents Thurso and North West Caithness on Highland Council (Deputy-Chair of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group) undertook a five day Japanese visit to discuss the impact of nuclear decommissioning on local communities with stakeholders in Tsuruga City, Fukui prefecture. The whistle-stop visit included two days in Tsuruga on , the home of the Japanese Atomic Energy Agencies fast reactor ‘Monju', is generally regarded to be a ‘partner plant' to Dounreay's PFR in Caithness.
Dounreay's latest supplier information day, hosted jointly with companies appointed to its decommissioning services framework, has proved popular with companies from around the UK. Around 200 people packed into a venue in Wick, Caithness to hear about plans for future work to decommission the site.
Half of the last remaining radioactive fuel elements jammed for decades inside the iconic Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) have now been removed. DFR with its famous dome once led the world in fast breeder technology.
The first concrete pour has taken place on a new waste store at Dounreay that will be needed for the closure of the site. Dounreay awarded the contract to construct the new intermediate level waste store to GRAHAM Construction Ltd.
The event, now in its ninth year, has been an overwhelming success in engaging with the suppliers who are so essential to achieving our decommissioning mission. Since launching in 2011, the event has attracted a total of around 10,000 visitors from more than 20 countries, representing thousands of companies both large and small.
This was the NDA's third summit, and the inspirational setting of the new Coleg Menai facilities, on Anglesey in North Wales, perfectly reflected the NDA’s approach to building sustainable post-nuclear communities around its estate. Some £4 million of funding from the NDA’s socio-economic budget has been used to create a state-of-the-art educational facility at the heart of the island.
Talks have taken place on the possibility of reopening Thurso's Caithness Horizons which closed last week due to financial problems. The operators of the museum and art gallery said increasing running costs and reduced income had made the running of the site "unsustainable".
Introduction to the Consultation How to respond In this consultation, the NDA wants to hear from members of the public, nuclear regulators, employees within our businesses, trade unions, local authorities, Site Stakeholder Groups, Non-Governmental Organisations and any other organisation or public body. In your response please state whether you are responding as an individual or representing the views of an organisation.
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