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Dounreay - UKAEA History - The First Fifty Years By Andy Munn

The First Fifty Years Intro

Dounreay Index

 Dounreay Web Site

Nuclear Industry Links


Major Changes

Reactor Development

Parting Of The Ways

A New Mission

UKAEA At Dounreay

Early Pictures Gallery

Dounreay Picture Gallery
Dounreay Site After Restoration
Dounreay From The Air

Aspects Of The Dounreay Site
The Old Runway
Fuel Cycle Area
AWA/RWE Descaling
Police Dogs
Training Facility
Materials Test Reactor

DCP and Store Extension
Waste Receipt Assay Characterisation & Supercompaction
Medical Isotopes
Environmental Monitoring Labs
Main Work Shops
RWE Nukem Headquarters
DFR - Dounreay Fast Reactor
Waste Shaft
Liquid Effluent Treatment Plant
PFR - Prototype Fast Reactor
Dounreay Foreshore
Dounreay Castle
Wet Silo
Whatings Hangar
Fire Brigade
Occupational Health

The First Apprentice

Fire & Ambulance Services

Early History On The Site
Dounreay Castle History

Dounreay Visitor Centre

Beach & Offshore Particles
Consultation On The Particles

Andy Munn

Major Changes
It was at this time that UKAEA was to undergo one of its biggest upheavals. In April 1971 came the relatively modest move of the Radiological Protection Division to become the newly created National Radiological Protection Board. But it was followed by far more significant changes with the transfer of 10,000 staff from UKAEA’s Production Group and the Radiochemical Centre at Amersham.

The Famous Dome With Replacement Stack

The Production Group, responsible for the manufacture and sale of nuclear fuel, became British Nuclear Fuels. It was already providing a complete nuclear fuel service from enrichment through fuel element manufacture to reprocessing and waste management. Now it was charged with selling these services to the world. Similarly, the Radiochemical Centre produced radioactive isotopes for medical and industrial uses. It was subsequently successfully privatised as Amersham plc, now part of the GE Healthcare group

The next step in the divestment process involved UKAEA’s Weapon’s Group. In August 1971, following recommendations from a committee led by the Marks and Spencer director, Derek Rayner, the Government decided to transfer the Weapons Group to the Ministry of Defence. Despite initial resistance from the then UKAEA Board the transfer went ahead in 1973.

In three short years UKAEA staff numbers had more than halved, from 30,000 to barely 13,000. Nevertheless UKAEA still retained its nuclear power mission and the non-nuclear business was growing year by year.

Next Reactor Development

See Also
History Of Amersham
Amersham - Review By Health & Safety Executive