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Dounreay - Past Present Future


Besdie the main nuclear fuel plant areas and the laboratories that are usually referred to as D1206, 1204, 1203 and 1202.  D1202 is the fuel fabrication plant.  One way to remove material from the site to enable it to be decommissioned is to turn our stock of uranium into fuel elements that can be used in research reactors for industrial and medical purposes.  Dounreay has a history of making medical targets that are used in the production of medical isotopes.  Isotopes are commonly used in medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  Once it leaves the site as new fuel, none of this uranium will be returned.

This building D1201 is of particular interest because it is the place where the fuel for the Dounreay Fast Reactor used to be made. The area was completely decontaminated and it is now the tea bar for staff in the Fuel Cycle Area.

The main building is the administration building for the Fuel Cycle Area.  About 1/3 of staff on site work in the Fuel Cycle Area.


The environmental monitoring laboratories take regular samples from animals, plants, the air and sea to ensure that site operations are not having an adverse effect on the environment.  The land monitoring involves the analysis of grass, rain and loch water and animal products such as milk. The sea and shore-monitoring programme involves coastline surveys, shore and sea bottom sediment sampling and the analysis of fish, shellfish, seaweed and seawater.  Monitoring of the site’s aerial discharges is achieved by means of fixed air samplers.  The discharges from Dounreay are extremely low and kept well below the levels set by the regulators.  As technology has improved there has been a continual downward trend of both discharge and limits.  Recent extensions have been built to accommodate a number of laboratory sampling areas.