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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

Parting of the Ways
By the late 1980s much of the fission nuclear research programme was beginning to wind down. UKAEA operations at Springfield had been closed down and in 1988 the Government finally announced that the PFR at Dounreay would be shut-down in 1994. Though not unexpected it was a bitter blow for the dedicated team who had worked for many years on the fast reactor venture.

The decision was a turning point for UKAEA. In 1989, the commercial arm of UKAEA under its marketing banner of AEA Technology was formally launched with its group of business divisions.

Operating PFR At Dounreay - December 1978

Elsewhere, Government attention turned to the growing cost of the nuclear liabilities on UKAEA’s sites. To focus on the management and decommissioning task a new department was formed – Decommissioning and Radioactive Management Operations (DRAWMOPS) - which was the forerunner of UKAEA’s future mission.

During the early 1990s decommissioning began in earnest at Harwell and Winfrith and at both sites attention turned to their future development as science and technology business centres. At Windscale initial decommissioning work was carried out on the Piles and the Windscale AGR.

The formal parting of the ways came in 1994 when AEA Technology became a separate body to UKAEA Government Division which was charged with taking forward its primary role of decommissioning and site restoration and fusion research. At the same time the facilities services operation was divested to Procord, later to be sold to Johnson Controls. Two years later AEA Technology plc was floated on the Stock Exchange.

Next A New Mission

See Also
What Is Radioactive Waste?

Decommissioning Tasks -UKAEA